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Tributes to Clare McSorley as GAA mourns loss of second player

By Donna Deeney

Published 01/12/2016

Clare McSorley
Clare McSorley
Clare McSorley (18), who has died suddenly

Ulster'S GAA community has been plunged into grief for the second time in a month after the death of a young player.

A post-mortem is expected to take place today to establish the cause of the sudden death of Clare McSorley (18) from Drumragh in Co Tyrone.

Last night, Drumragh GAA Club opened its doors to allow her team-mates to come together and share their memories of the popular teenager.

Club chairman Adrian O'Kane described Clare as a "kind and respectful young lady" whose loss to the club will not filled.

He said: "Clare McSorley was a treasured member of Drumragh GAA, with herself and her parents and sisters involved in every aspect of club activity.

"Clare played on successful youth teams and since 16 years old, she had played for our senior ladies. Clare was such a kind and respectful young lady. She simply loved children and went out of her way to mix with our young members, safeguarding them.

"Clare's loss cannot be filled and at this tragic time we reach out to her parents, Tommy, Jackie and sisters Ellen and Orla.

"The club are receiving good support from the GAA and agencies with experience in dealing with trauma.

"I know the family are already taking comfort from the support they are receiving."

Clare's death comes a month after Kevin King (22), a rising star with Co Derry's Slaughtmanus GAA club, died after he collapsed while playing indoor football with a group of friends.

As the McSorley family begin the difficult task of arranging Clare's funeral, her former school has arranged grief counselling for her college friends.

Drumragh Integrated College principal, Nigel Frith, said Clare's untimely death had deeply affected staff and pupils.

He said: "Clare was well known and a much-loved student who would go out of her way to help anyone. She was such a beautifully sensitive, warm-hearted girl.

"She loved her sports both here and at her local GAA club and was at home on the sports field."

The college will hold a special assembly this morning and has opened a book of condolences.

It will also hold a fundraising night for a memorial trophy in Clare's name.

Funeral arrangements will be announced later.

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