Galway hurler Niall Donohue dies suddenly aged 22

Tributes paid on social media amid shock over passing of inter-county player

Niall Donohue is chased by Kilkenny’s Colin Fennelly at the 2012 All Ireland Senior Hurling final at Croke Park. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Niall Donohue is chased by Kilkenny’s Colin Fennelly at the 2012 All Ireland Senior Hurling final at Croke Park. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Thu, Oct 24, 2013, 07:45

Galway inter-county hurler Niall Donohue has died at age 22.

The hurler, who played for Kilbeacanty, passed away suddenly last night. He was due to celebrate his 23rd birthday tomorrow.

He played right wing-back for club and county and featured prominently with the Galway seniors in last year’s All Ireland Senior Championship. The talented hurler won the All-Ireland under-21 title with Galway in 2011.

In a statement released this morning Galway GAA described its “shock” at Niall Donohue’s “tragic, and untimely death”.

“On behalf of the entire Galway GAA community, at home and abroad, we extend our heartfelt sympathy to Niall’s family and especially his father Francis, brother Shane, sister Orla, uncles, aunts, and all his relatives.

“We offer all our condolences also to the members of Niall’s club and parish, Kilbeacanty, to his fellow inter-county panellists on the Galway hurling team, and to his many friends and colleagues.

“Ar dheis lámh Dé go raibh a anam uasal dílis.”

Tributes have been paid to the young GAA star on social media sites.

Cork hurler Eoin Cadogan (@cads3) tweeted: “Awful to hear of the passing of Niall Donoghue. At only 22 years of age another star of our games taken away tragically. May he rest in peace.”

Cork GAA (@OfficialCorkGAA): “Our sympathies to the family, friends & team-mates of @Galway_GAA hurler, Niall Donoghue. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam #RIP”

Kilkenny right-corner back Paul Murphy (@PaulMurphykk): “Thoughts are with the family and friends of Niall Donoghue. Gutted to hear the news. Great man and great respect for him. #RIP #galway”

Hector O hEochagáin tweeted: “Woke to the terrible news that one of Galways young Hurling stars Niall Donoghue has passed away ...very very sad day ...”

One Direction member Niall Horan (@NiallOfficial) tweeted: “Very sad news about niall donohue Thoughts with donohue family”

Michael Donnelly (@MickDonnelly82) tweeted: “RIP Niall Donoghue. Not too many marked Shefflin out of a game.”

TG4’s Síle Ní Bhraonáin (@silliebee) tweeted: “Devastating news about the death of Niall Donoghue. Another young soul taken far too soon. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. X #galwaygaa”

Waterford GAA (@WaterfordGAA): “Sympathy to the family, friends and club mates of Galway Senior Hurler Niall Donoghue. RIP”

IRFUCharitableTrust (@IRFUCharTrust): “Sorry to hear of the sudden death of talented Galway hurler Niall Donoghue , taken too young RIP”