heartbreaking | 

Community devastated by death of Monaghan GAA 'leader' Brendan Og O'Dufaigh

The 19-year-old captain of the Monaghan Under-20 team died just two hours after leading his team to victory in a crucial inter-county semi-final
Brendan Og O'Dufaigh

Brendan Og O'Dufaigh

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

Heartfelt tributes are continuing to be paid this morning to the talented GAA star Brendan Og O'Dufaigh, was who tragically died in a car crash over the weekend.

The 19-year-old captain of the Monaghan Under-20 team died just two hours after leading his team to victory in a crucial inter-county semi-final.

His death has “devastated” his community, Conor McManus, a member of the senior panel said this morning.

“I would have been lucky enough to get to know Ogie (and) there's no doubt in the world that Ogie would have been brought into the Monaghan panel next year," he said.

"He was the Under-20 captain this year, and he was the minor captain two years ago. The guys were getting ready for an Under-20 final that I have no doubt they would have been really, really well prepared for and really well led by Ogie.

"Last Friday night in the second half of that game they made a massive come back and Ogie was central to all of that.

"It was typical of his character and how he played football, with heart, with determination, with passion and leadership," he added.

"We have five or six lads on our panel at the minute that are Under-20s and just chatting to them since last Friday and seeing their reaction to the news last Saturday morning..it was just so clear to be seen that Ogie was their man, he was their leader their go-to.

"He didn’t try to be something he wasn’t. He was his own man and that was enough for anybody to respect him and look up to him.

"I was lucky enough to meet Ogie several times and I would have liked to get to know him better, but any time I would have met him, you could understand why he was such a good leader and so well respected, both off and on the field

"And I think the outpouring of grief and I suppose devastation that hangs over our county at the minute is clear to be seen because Ogie was a special, special young man.

"It's so devastating for his family obviously, but also for Ogie himself, who had it all ahead of him. He was getting ready for an Under-20 final this weekend and was so looking forward to that.

“I know from talking to one of his managers on the Under-20 team, that he was really buzzing for that after the game last Friday night. He didn’t get a chance to go into that and look forward to that. He doesn't get a chance to do so many other things in his life that were there. It was all laid out for him and it’s devastating for him and his family. It's just insurmountable really.”

In a “final Farewell to Ogie” message on Facebook, Monaghan GAA has written: “Today our hearts are truly broken as we say our final farewell to Ógie. In his very short 19 years Ógie gave the people of Monaghan so much joy, countless treasured memories and filled our hearts with pride by wearing his county and club jersey.

“Ogie has left a legacy behind to which generations will now inspire from. He was unique. His passion was simply the GAA, to which he not only excelled in but was a born leader.

"GAA was not just a sport to Ógie, his club and county were an extension of his family – His beloved GAA family.

"The sheer excitement, joy and pride on his face as that final whistle blew last Friday night when he captained his County Under-20 side to an Ulster Final will now be a cherished memory.”

They added: “He was an exceptional, immeasurable talent that thrived year after year, and what a privilege to have witnessed this. An inspirational motivator who did not stop until he got that job done.

“A player who worked tirelessly with passion, determination and love for his jersey. He executed his role as captain with the greatest of honour and upmost respect. In 2018 he captained the Under 17 Monaghan Minor team to win an Ulster title and after proudly lifting the Fr Murray Cup in Armagh left the crowd in admiration as he delivered his acceptance speech entirely as Gaelige.

“Ógie was a very proud Monaghan Harps player and would be no prouder of his club that within the last few days, who have surpassed themselves in providing support to their club, community and county in coping with this sudden and tragedy loss.

“Our GAA Family are stunned and devastated by this untimely passing but we have been completely overwhelmed with the incredible love, support and tributes we have received locally and further afield.

The unbelievable support, love and strength which we have experienced from Saturday morning is the very value that Ógie held so close to his heart – ‘GAA is Family’

"Our prayers and thoughts once again are extended to Ógie’s family, his father Brendan, his mother Esther and his sisters Claire and Áine, to his many friends, his under 20 county teammates, management team and background staff and to his club Monaghan Harps.

Forever in all our hearts, Ogie xx”

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