Vigil held in Athenry for ‘brilliant’ camogie player who died after pitch collision

Kate Moran (20) died from head injury sustained during club match on Monday

The Co Galway camogie player who died after an accidental collision during a match will buried on Friday, 10 days before she would have celebrated her 21st birthday.

Kate Moran died at University Hospital Galway on Tuesday after being injured while playing a league game for Athenry against Ardrahan.

Hundreds of people gathered in Athenry on Wednesday night for a candlelit vigil, with books of condolences being signed at the entrances to Kenny Park, a venue where Ms Moran played many matches and where her father Cathal was a star forward for years for the Athenry and Galway teams.

Ms Moran was from Monivea, a small village outside of Athenry. She is survived by her parents Cathal and Mary,  brother Thady and sisters Leah and Saoirse. She was a third year student at NUI Galway’s college of business, public policy and law.

She is also survived by her boyfriend TJ Brennan, who is a member of the Galway senior hurling team, and by her grandparents Bridie Moran and Amelia Murphy.

She will repose at the family home at Glenagloughan in Monivea on Thursday from 4pm to 8pm.

Her funeral Mass will take place at 1pm on Friday at the Church of the Sacred Heart at Ryehill outside Monivea. She will be laid to rest afterwards at Templemoyle Cemetery in Newcastle, Athenry.

Joe Rabbitte, one of her camogie coaches, described Ms Moran as a “great friend” to all her teammates and a “wonderful kid” with a beautiful smile. He told RTÉ’s News at One that a part of Athenry camogie “has died” this week.

“I’m 40 years in the game and I never saw anything like this, it’s just a complete freak accident,” he said, adding that the local community was “devastated” about what had happened.

PJ Molloy, a former Galway senior hurler from Athenry, said: “Kate was such a beautiful young girl and a wonderful talent. Her future was going to be bright, we’re just heartbroken.”

RTÉ GAA presenter Marty Morrissey said the Moran family were "steeped in hurling" and that "Kate was a brilliant, brilliant camogie player".

Local Fianna Fáil councillor Albert Dolan said the Moran family were "deeply rooted" in the tight-knit community.

“There is such a sombre feeling in Monivea at the moment. The flags at the national school and pitches are at half mast,” he said.

Role model

In a statement, NUI Galway said everyone at the university was “deeply saddened at the sudden, tragic death of student Kate Moran and extend our heartfelt sympathies to her family, friends and loved ones”.

“She was a tremendous role model, a talented sportswoman and someone who had a bright future ahead of her, both on and off the field. Our hearts go out to all those who knew and loved Kate,” it said.

Ms Moran’s former secondary school, Presentation College Athenry, said in a statement that it was “deeply saddened” to learn of her death.

“Kate was a model student and a willing participant in extra curricular activities especially camogie, who completed her Leaving Certificate in 2019.”

In a statement posted on social media, Athenry Camogie Club said it was "deeply saddened" by the news.

“This is a terrible tragedy for her family, our club and our community. Our sympathy and thoughts are with the Moran family and friends. Kate will be greatly missed by all who knew her,” it said, adding that Ms Moran’s bubbly personality “will be remembered for eternity”.

The Galway Camogie Board said Ms Moran was a “leader both on and off the field”. It expressed heartfelt and deepest condolences to her family, friends and clubmates.

Ardrahan GAA said the club wished “to extend our deepest sympathies to Kate’s family, friends and all in Athenry Camogie Club at this most difficult time”.