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Boy (16) found dead in bed after GAA match

A 16-year-old boy was found dead in bed the morning after he played a Gaelic football match, an inquest has heard.

Rory Hegarty died of natural causes and not from any injury at the game, Dublin County Coroner Dr Kieran Geraghty was told.

Rory's mother Sally, of Rathfarnham Park, said that on Sunday February 22 last, her son played a match for Ballyboden St Endas in Bohernabreena.

He came home after the game and then went to his part time job in a shop from 4-8pm.

Mrs Hegarty said Rory told her he got a slight bang above the right eye and was complaining it was a bit sore.

She looked at him but couldn't see any bruising. She checked him at 11:55pm but when she went to wake him for school at 7:40am the next morning, she found him dead in bed.

She told the coroner that Rory was in good health and was not on medication.

Garda Mary Brosnan of Rathfarnham Garda station said she was called to the house and saw Rory lying in bed wearing his boxer shorts. He had bruising under both eyes. His mother told her that Rory played a football game the day before.

David Mellon, manager of the St Enda's Minor B team said that Rory turned out as a mid-fielder in the game against St Anne's.

"It was an honest, open game. There was no dirty play and no incidents happened during the game," he said.

He told Dr Geraghty that Gaelic football was a physical game but there was no fighting and no sending off during the game.

Mr Mellon said it was possible that players might have bumped off other players in the course of tackles, but he did not recall any particular incident and Rory did not mention anything to him after the match.

Pathologist Dr Niall Swan said that the autopsy found no underlying fractures or head injuries.

The cause of death was sudden cardiac death with a morphologically normal heart.

A UK specialist had also looked at the cardiac result but found nothing.

Dr Swan said it was not always possible to identify the electrical pathways within the heart that might cause arrhythmia.

The coroner asked him if it was some electrical problem within the heart and he said yes, but added that in about 4pc of cardiac deaths, they could find no reason for it.

There was no question of any injury in the match being responsible, he said.

The coroner recorded the death as being due to natural causes.

Dr Geraghty added: "It was a very tragic death of a very young man and I extend my sympathy to the family."

Belfast Telegraph


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