hurler's legacy | 

Tragic Tipperary star Dillon Quirke’s dad says they want to ‘save lives’ in his memory

Dillon Quirke died suddenly last August in Semple Stadium while doing what he loved best as he captained his native Clonoulty-Rossmore into battle in the Tipperary SHC against Kilruane MacDonaghs.

At the launch of The Dillon Quirke Foundation fundraising in association with The Circet All-Ireland GAA Golf Challenge at the Clonoulty-Rossmore GAA Club in Tipperary is children from Clonoulty and Rossmore schools, from left, Rian Quinn, aged nine, Scott Wood, aged ten, Hazel Rayn, aged nine and Jamie O'Sullivan, aged eight, with inter-county hurling managers, from left, Henry Shefflin of Galway, John Kiely of Limerick, Darren Gleeson of Antrim, Darragh Egan of Wexford, Pat Ryan of Cork, Davy Fitzgerald of Waterford, Stephen Molumphy of Kerry and Liam Cahill of Tipperary© SPORTSFILE

Dillon Quirke

Michael Verney

A who's who of the hurling world made their way to Clonoulty-Rossmore on Wednesday to launch The Dillon Quirke Foundation fundraising drive in honour of the fallen Tipperary star.

Dillon Quirke died suddenly last August in Semple Stadium while doing what he loved best as he captained his native Clonoulty-Rossmore into battle in the Tipperary SHC against Kilruane MacDonaghs.

The Premier legend, who passed away on the hallowed turf on Thurles from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS), will never be forgotten across the country and beyond and The Dillon Quirke Foundation will carry on his memory.

Dillon’s parents Hazel and Dan established The Dillon Quirke Foundation in honour of their son and its goal is to see that every GAA player over the age of 12 is cardiac screened.

The launch of The Dillon Quirke Foundation fundraising drive, in association with The Circet All-Ireland GAA Golf Challenge, aims to raise more precious funds to carry out such important screening.

Dillon Quirke

With hurling royalty like Henry Shefflin, John Kiely, Davy Fitzgerald and Liam Cahill in attendance, The Foundation called on GAA clubs and individuals to contribute €100 towards making this objective a reality.

“The sole intention of creating The Foundation in Dillon’s name is to save lives,” Dillon’s father Dan said. “SADS takes 100 young lives every year. €1 million will screen 15,000 children and young adults.

"To put it simply, we don’t want parents to go through what Hazel and I have experienced. Screening has proven to work. The clubs we are asking to contribute to The Foundation will benefit from the programmes we want to initiate countrywide. We can't think of a better legacy for Dillon.”

Former Tipp star Declan Ryan, Dillon's uncle and Clonoulty-Rossmore manager at the time of his passing, was another to throw all of his support behind this most worthwhile cause.

"Since Dillon's passing, Dan and Hazel have put all their energy into The Foundation. There have been too many people that have passed with SADS in recent times," Ryan said.

"The Foundation's aim is to use the proceeds for cardiac screening. As we all know, information is power. This will save lives. Every parent should have the ability to make informed decisions about their children's health and their involvement in sport and screening will ensure that this happens."

Meanwhile, Tipperary manager Liam Cahill said Dillon’s absence from the Premier ranks is still “emotionally raw”.

“At the start of the year we spoke about him a little bit and it was emotionally raw in our squad with everybody,” Cahill said.

“It was really a case of putting it out there and making sure that everybody knew that if anything ever bothered them in relation to Dillon’s passing that we had one another to talk to. We are together in everything we do, it is not just about hurling in there, we like to think we are together in there watching out for one another as well.

“That is what it is about, making sure that we don’t try to hide or bury Dillon’s passing, that we are comfortable with it as best we can and open up to one another when the tough days come.

“And there are tough days when you are donning the jersey and look at the dressing room corner where he used to sit, that is not easy, whatever about me as the manager, but for his friends and colleagues.

“This is something we will have to learn how to manage and control our emotions as best we can and put it into a positive, and I know Dillon would want us to do that.”

The 22nd Circet All-Ireland Golf Challenge will take place in Killarney Golf and Fishing Club this October with all proceeds going towards The Dillon Quirke Foundation this year.

To contribute to The Dillon Quirke Foundation, visit the GoFundMe webpage –

To register your company’s interest in playing in this year’s Challenge, email

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