Tributes paid to Limerick student who died on Greek island

Skilled GAA player Niall O’Brien was holidaying with a group of friends on Ios

Limerick student Niall O’Brien, with former All-Ireland winning Clare hurler Davy Fitzgerald

Limerick student Niall O’Brien, with former All-Ireland winning Clare hurler Davy Fitzgerald

 

Tributes have been paid to a Limerick student who died while holidaying in Greece overnight.

The deceased, who was named locally as Niall O’Brien, who was in his 20s, died after sustaining serious head injuries on the Greek island of Ios.

It is understood Mr O’Brien, from Castletroy, who was holidaying with a group of 20 friends at the time, was struck by a car after a fall.

Mr O’Brien, a third-year student at the University of Limerick, was a player with Broadford GAA club in southeast Clare, and a member of Castletroy Golf Club.

“Niall was a brilliant sportsman. He was a serious hurler, he was huge into golf and GAA, soccer, everything really,” said a source.

“This is just a terrible tragedy. Niall was the nicest lad you could ever have met, and the whole community just can’t believe what has happened.

“He had worked part-time behind the bar at Castletroy Golf Club. His father, Mike, is from Clare and that’s why Niall was playing with Broadford and he used to get a load of slagging for that, but it was all good banter.”

Mr O’Brien’s parents, along with their three other sons, were being comforted by neighbours and friends at their home as they tried to come to terms with the sudden loss.

A spokesman for The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust confirmed it was liaising with the deceased’s family in order to help arrange to repatriate his remains home for burial.

The trust aims to assist families to repatriate the bodies of loved one who have died abroad.

A spokesman at the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed it was “aware of the case and is providing consular assistance” to the family.

Mr O’Brien was the second Limerick person to die on Ios in a little over a month.

Darren Whelan (23), from Kildimo, Co Limerick, a talented hurler with Kildimo Pallaskenry GAA Club, was holidaying with friends on the Greek island when he fell to his death on July 11th last.

A close friend of Mr Whelan’s, Jack Walsh, (19), died in similar circumstances at Mallorca, Spain, in June 2018 when he sustained fatal head injuries in a fall from a hotel balcony.