Drowned fan made late change to travel plans
A YOUNG Donegal GAA fan who was drowned while celebrating his team’s victory at Croke Park had only decided to stay in Dublin at the last minute.
Andrew Duffy drowned when he slipped into the Royal Canal near Binn’s Bridge in Phibsboro after watching Donegal beat Cork to reach their first All-Ireland final in 20 years.
Mr Duffy (24) from Termon, Co Donegal fell into the water shortly before midnight on Sunday while walking to where he was staying locally with friends.
He was brought to the Mater hospital but was pronounced dead at 12.45am. An investigation has been launched into the circumstances surrounding his death.
Mr Duffy had taken a bus from Termon to Dublin on Saturday and had planned to return to Donegal after the game.
However, the young farmer decided to celebrate with a friend, Stephen McElwaine, whose brother’s flat was vacant on Sunday night as he was working overnight as a nurse.
Mr Duffy’s home parish of Termon was in mourning at the death of the young man.
He had played senior football for Termon GAA team and was very well respected in the local community.
He was part of a talented young side which had won the All-Ireland Gaeltacht junior championship in June.
His father John Duffy, a waterworks caretaker with Donegal County Council, mother Margaret and sisters Leanne and Caroline were last night being comforted by family and friends.
A special Mass in his memory was attended by hundreds of people including members of the Donegal senior football team at St Columba’s Church in Termon last night.
Termon GAA club chairman Joe McDaid said Mr Duffy was a modest and quiet young man whose death had numbed the community.
“Andrew was such a lovely young fella and was quiet and modest. He farmed and did a lot of fencing. People are waking up to hear this news and they just can’t believe it has happened.
“It has taken the whole shine off Donegal’s win for us. People are thinking about getting tickets for the All-Ireland final but we’re just thinking of poor Andrew and his family.
“It’s just awful what has happened,” Mr McDaid added.
Neighbour and family friend Dr James McDaid said he was shocked to hear of Mr Duffy’s death.
Mr Duffy was with the former minister’s nephew, Stephen McElwaine, just before he slipped into the water to his death.
“It is just so tragic. Andrew was a lovely young lad and he and his father would have opened my mother’s grave when she passed away,” Dr McDaid said.
“I know the family well and they are very well-respected in the community.”
Dr McDaid said he had been in touch with the coroner’s office and was hoping a postmortem could be held as quickly as possible.
“They have told me they have had a very busy weekend. They are trying their best and there is a possibility that the postmortem can be held [this morning].
“Hopefully that can take place and Andrew’s remains can be released to his family,” he added.