In a tragedy that has caused devastation for his family, his town, his county and the wider GAA community, talented GAA player Brendan Óg O'Dufaigh was pronounced deceased at the scene following a fatal traffic collision between two cars at Clontibret, Monaghan at 11.30pm.
Just hours earlier, centre half back Brendan had helped turn the tide for the Monaghan U20s as they battled back from a five point deficit to defeat Donegal at Brewster Park in Enniskillen.
Speaking this morning, a distraught Monaghan Harps Chairman Jimmy Croarkin paid tribute to the young footballer who he described as ‘a true gentleman’ and a ‘massive talent.’
“It’s very raw,” Mr. Croarkin said.
“He was just a true gentleman … so good with the kids in the club as well as the adults.
“GAA was his life and he threw everything at football.
“But he was also a huge link in out community.
“He was so talented.
“The Seniors had wanted him this year but he turned them down saying he was still too young but he had a massive, massive future with Monaghan GAA.
“And he was a fantastic person as well.”
Mr. Croarkin said, on behalf of himself and the club, he wished to extend his deepest sympathies to all Brendan’s family and loved ones.
It’s understood that prior to the Monaghan Donegal U20s clash, Brendan had parked his car at the Monaghan Training Campus in Cloughan before travelling with the team to Brewster Park.
Following a thrilling victory during which his performance was lauded by commentators on the Northern Sound radio station, the team made their way back to Monaghan on the team bus.
The accident is understood to have occurred after Brendan collected his car at Cloughan and was making his way home.
Monaghan town councillor Paudge Connolly also paid tribute to Brendan this morning saying everyone in the county was absolutely shocked.
“On behalf of myself and everyone in the county I want to convey our deepest sympathies to Brendan’s family.
“He was a leading figure in the GAA and a star in the making who has passed in very tragic circumstances.”
In a statement, gardai said they are appealing for witnesses.
“At approximately 11.30pm last night, Gardaí were alerted to a road traffic collision involving two cars on the N2 in Tullybuck, Clontibret, Co. Monaghan,” the statement said.
“The driver of one car, a male aged in his teens, was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Gardaí are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed this collision to come forward. Gardaí are also appealing to anyone who was in the Tullybuck, Clontibret area yesterday evening between 11.15pm and midnight to contact them.”