A minute’s silence was observed at the Connacht Senior Football Final today in tribute to a young GAA player who died in the Middle East.
Darragh Walsh (22) from the Neale, near Cong, Co Mayo was killed in a road traffic accident in Qatar.
It is understood that he was a passenger in a taxi which crashed last Thursday night. Mr Walsh had only arrived in the country for work in the last two weeks.
Many tributes are being paid locally in South Mayo as he came from a well-known GAA family. He is the son of Gerry Walsh, Chairman of the local GAA club in The Neale.
The Department of Foreign Affairs is providing assistance to the family to bring his remains home.
The funeral is expected sometime in the next week.
Mr Walsh was working with an Irish company there and had previously spent a year working in London. He is survived by his parents, Gerry and Miriam, two brothers and two sisters.
It is understood that Darragh was out with a few friends after work on Friday night when the accident occurred.
Retired school principal, Dermot Keane - who taught Darragh - said he was deeply shocked and saddened by his death.
He described him as a very bright, hardworking and easy-going person who had gotten on very well with others and came from a family who are very much community-orientated.
He came home overnight to see his family on a “flying visit” before moving to Qatar, Mr Keane said.
“It’s a terrible blow,” said Mr Keane, revealing that the local area has suffered a lot with the untimely death of young people.
Four people on Darragh’s road in the townsland of Creeavagh, between The Neale and Kilmaine have died from car accidents in recent years, he said.
Darragh was the third child in his family, of which the youngest, Padraic is just 16 years old. He has an older brother, Shane, who has been living in Australia for the past four years. He also has two sisters, Sheila and Ciara. His father, Gerry is a farmer and works in transportation, while his mother, Miriam works with Western Care, providing assistance to those with disabilities.
In a statement, the Neale GAA club said they had received “crushingly bad news”.
“The club is devastated with the news of the tragic death of Darragh Walsh. Simply hard to believe. We will all miss you,” the statement read.
“Truly only the good die young. Our thoughts are with Gerry and Miriam and his brothers and sisters and his extended family and friends.”