tragedy | 

Kilkenny hurling legend Henry Shefflin's brother Paul dies suddenly aged 40

Shock in Ballyhale Shamrocks GAA club where he was a talented hurler

Paul Shefflin

Sean Ryan

THE GAA’s most decorated hurler Henry Shefflin is in mourning this weekend following the sudden death of his brother Paul.

Paul Shefflin (40) died suddenly while out running on Friday afternoon.

The death of the married father-of-four has sent shockwaves through his native Ballyhale Shamrocks GAA club in the tightly-knit community in South Kilkenny.

Just three weeks ago the club lost out to a last-minute goal to near neighbours Ballygunnar in the All-Ireland Club Hurling Final at Croke Park.

As a mark of respect, the Ballyhale Shamrocks AGM which was to take place on Saturday night has been adjourned.

Mr Shefflin’s wife and four children are being comforted by locals.

Ballyhale parish priest Fr Seán O’Connor said the whole community is in shock following the tragic death of Mr Shefflin.

“Paul is the youngest of the Shefflin family and he died yesterday suddenly out running, it’s just tragedy for the whole parish,” he said.

“They are totally [in shock]. We haven’t heard much else at the moment.”

One club official from Ballyhale Shamrocks described how Paul was “very popular in the area’’.

He added: ‘’Paul played hurling with Kieran’s College and Waterford Institute of technology before graduating with a degree in Business studies.

"He was the Kilkenny Minor hurling captain in 1998 and unlike his brother Henry, he played as a defender. He always cited his favourite sporting moment as the 2010 Club All-Ireland’’.

Paul Shefflin worked as an accountant with Clonmel healthcare where colleagues said he was excellent at his job.

No arrangements have been made yet for Mr Shefflin’s funeral and will not be done so until a post-mortem has taken place.

Ten-time Kilkenny All-Ireland Senior hurling medallist Henry Shefflin now manages Galway, who are due to take on Cork in the National Hurling League tonight in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork.

While it is expected the game will go ahead, Henry Shefflin is unlikely to attend. A minute’s silence will be observed prior to all this weekend’s GAA games.

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