Tragic loss Tributes paid to man (39) who died in kite-surfing accident at Dublin beach
TRIBUTES have been paid to an experienced Dublin kite-surfer and Ironman competitor who died while pursuing his favourite hobby on Dollymount Strand on Saturday morning.
Ger Fennelly (39), from Beaumont, had been surfing the waves off the north Dublin coast when he got into difficulty at around 9am. He was taken from the water but pronounced dead at the scene.
Ger's body was removed to the Mater hospital where a post mortem examination was due to be carried out to determine how he died.
Yesterday, there was a large gathering on Dollymount Strand in Ger's honour, and family and friends brought flowers and laid them at one of Ger's surf boards.
His parents also spoke to thank all that turned up to honour and remember him.
Ger's sister Elaine posted a tribute on Facebook with a photograph of her brother smiling on the waves.
"Words cannot express how we are all feeling. I have lost my best friend, my rock and an idol," she said.
"Fly high with the angels bro'. I loved you so much," she added.
The Piranha Triathlon Club posted a message along with a photograph of Ger crossing the line in an Ironman competition in Barcelona in 2018.
"Our club is in mourning as we sadly learnt of the death of one of our longstanding and respected members, Ger Fennelly.
"Ger was a vastly experienced kitesurfer and had been kitesurfing for the past 14 years," it said. "Ger had been a member of Piranha since 2014. He was an active member and friendly face in the club.
"Ger volunteered his time and energy freely, leading out many Sunday spins and always helping with the club race DCT.
"Ger loved triathlon, representing Piranha at many triathlons around the country and abroad.
"He was always a welcome sight at any club training session or race.
"He completed Ironman Barcelona in 2018 and inspired many with his achievement, writing in detail about how he accomplished this whilst also living with Type 1 diabetes.
"Ger made a lasting impression on many in the triathlon community and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
"He had a wonderfully positive outlook on life, was a kind soul and a true gentleman," it read.
In Ger's own race report on the club's web page in 2018 he explained how he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2004 while in San Diego on a J1 visa for the summer.
"Since then I have had to manually do the work of my pancreas by injecting insulin into my body 24/7," he wrote.
Ger wrote that his triathlon hobby started back in 2014 and he had been kitesurfing since 2006.
"I will never forget my first sprint triathlon in Dunmore East. Back then I was on daily insulin injections at least six to eight times a day and checking blood sugars every time I ate or exercised," he said.
"2015 was the game changer year because I became eligible to get an insulin pump with a continuous glucose monitor.
"The eligibility process took a while to go through as I wanted an insulin pump that was water proof and could read my sugars every five minutes."
"This was a big deal for endurance exercise as I could now monitor how my sugars were balancing out during a race.
"I got the pump four weeks before Dublin Ironman 70.3.
"I will never forget finishing the race in the Phoenix Park.
"The buzz crossing the finish line was amazing and being able to monitor my sugars during the race was class," he added.
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