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'True gentleman' Hero hurler Joe Canning visits tragic Cavan teen Eden Heaslip's family

Eden Heaslip of Killynanum, Carrickaboy was just 18 years old when he died by suicide on Monday, September 20, 2021.

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Joe Canning. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Joe Canning. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Joe Canning. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Tragic Cavan teenager Eden Heaslip’s hero, hurler Joe Canning, paid a visit to his family last week.

Eden Heaslip of Killynanum, Carrickaboy was just 18 years old when he died by suicide on Monday, September 20, 2021.

The teenager idolised Galway hurling star Joe Canning and treated a photo taken with the retired sportsman at the Nation Ploughing Championships as his prized possession, the Heaslip family explained on RTÉ’s Prime Time last Tuesday.

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Eden Heaslip, whose tragic suicide after years of bullying was highlighted on Primetime

Eden Heaslip, whose tragic suicide after years of bullying was highlighted on Primetime

Eden Heaslip, whose tragic suicide after years of bullying was highlighted on Primetime

Following the programme’s success, Portumna native Canning made the cross-country trip to Cavan to meet Eden’s parents, Maggie and Raymond, and siblings, Chloe and Finn, in their home.

Taking to social media, Ray praised Canning as “a true hero and a true gentleman” as he shared a photo of the 33-year-old enjoying a cup of tea on the sofa.

“A true hero and a true gentleman called for a cuppa and a chat yesterday evening,” he said.

“It meant so much for us to talk to Joe canning as he was Eden’s hero on and off the hurling field and I understand why he is such a role model to young people.

“Thanks again for your support Joe. Hope you got back to Limerick safely,” he added.

On last week’s Prime Time, the Heaslip family recalled the traumatic bullying that Eden endured in school.

“Dad, they get me and they put my head down the toilet,” Eden told Raymond.

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“It’s never one – it’s always a gang of them, laughing at me. And it’s never a clean toilet. It’s always the shittiest toilet. It’s always the dirtiest toilet they can get.”

Eden told his father that he was kicked often, describing it as “never ending.”

“I would be just walking, and they will just kick me,” Raymond recalled Eden telling him.

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