gentleman | 

Uncle of tragic Dillon Quirke (24) pays tribute to tragic Tipperary hurler who died following match on Friday

He collapsed during a game in Semple Stadium and was stretchered off the field shortly before halftime.

Dillon Quirke

Andrew Fryday Credit: RTÉ

Clodagh MeaneySunday World

The Gaelic Athletics Association (GAA) president Larry McCarthy has paid tribute to Tipperary hurler Dillon Quirke who died following a match in Thurles on Friday.

The 24-year-old collapsed during a game in Semple Stadium and was stretchered off the field shortly before halftime.

Dillon's uncle, Andrew Fryday, chairman of Clonoulty-Rossmore, speaking to RTÉ, said: "He was a pure gentleman, a lovely, lovely young man who had anything you’d want in a hurler. A fine, big strong man. Fit and able - a leader on the field. He was captain of our club team this year, he led from the front.

"His uncle in law Declan Ryan, our former Tipperary manager, was manager and coach of the team. Dillon absolutely loved him, he’d do anything for him.”

He added: "We were very hopeful this year that we would drive on and do the repeat of 2018 and put another county final on the table.

"Dillon also won an under-21 county final that year for his club, in 2018, and he won a county final here with the club in 2014 at U16. His curriculum vitae was absolutely immense.

"We were so looking forward to him leading the way for the next number of years for us."

Andrew Fryday Credit: RTÉ

Adding to the tributes, GAA president Larry McCarthy said there is a huge sense of sadness across the GAA community.

"There is a huge sense of shock across the GAA Community at the tragic loss of Dillon who had already achieved so much in his young life.

“He was a young man in his prime with so much potential and promise and on behalf of the GAA family I would like to extend my sympathies to Dillon’s father and mother, Dan and Hazel, and his sisters, Shannon and Kellie, at what is an unimaginably difficult time.”

A spokesman for the Tipperary GAA county board confirmed that the Clonoulty Rossmore club player died after he collapsed on the pitch during the FBD Insurance county senior hurling championship match.

The match was brought to an immediate halt as Mr Quirke was attended to by players from his own team and opponents Kilruane, as well as the Knights of Malta.

Dillon, who had been playing at full forward before he collapsed 28 minutes into the game, was brought to the stadium’s medical unit before he was rushed to hospital by ambulance.

In a statement last night, Tipperary GAA said: “Tipperary GAA extends its heartfelt and sincere sympathies to Dan, Hazel, Shannon, Kellie and the extended Quirke family.

“Also to the Clonoulty Rossmore GAA Club and his teammates on the sad and tragic passing of Clonoulty Rossmore and Tipperary hurler Dillon Quirke.”

Dillon became ill during Friday evening’s County Senior Hurling Championship game between Clonoulty Rossmore and Kilruane MacDonaghs in Semple Stadium and was taken to Tipperary University Hospital in Clonmel where he passed away.

“Tipperary GAA wish to thank all those who attended to Dillon in Semple Stadium and in Tipperary University Hospital this evening.”

The organisation added: “As a mark of respect to Dillon, Tipperary GAA have called off all games due to take place in the County Hurling Championships this weekend.”

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