A teenage boy collapsed and died during a GAA match — just two days before he was due to celebrate his 17th birthday.
The 16-year-old, named locally as Patrick Dinsmore, collapsed while taking part in a minor match at Greenpark Road in Rostrevor yesterday.
It is understood the St Colman’s College pupil, who was playing for St Peter’s GAA Club, Warrenpoint, had been on the field for just 15 minutes when tragedy struck.
A doctor and two nurses who were at the match rushed to his aid and tried desperately to save him.
Paramedics then arrived and tried to revive the teenager, however, all their efforts were in vain.
A spokesman from the club, Feargal McCormack, told the Belfast Telegraph this morning the entire Warrenpoint community had been left devastated by the teenager’s death.
It is understood Patrick, who he described as a highly-respected member of the club, was due to turn 17 tomorrow.
“Everyone is just devastated at the moment,” Mr McCormack said.
“Patrick was a highly-respected member of the community and our club.
“I have not been talking to his parents, but I am aware that they are devastated at the moment.
“Patrick is the eldest child in the family, he has a younger sister. His family are born and bred from Warrenpoint.
“He is a pupil of St Colman’s College in Newry.
“It is just so devastating. He would have been 17 tomorrow.”
Local SDLP councillor Michael Carr, who also knows the family, said the young man’s death had shocked the local community to its core.
“This really is a devastating, utterly devastating, death of a fine young man,” he said.
“The local area is finding it hard to come to terms with it as the young lad was so well thought of and was taking part in something he loved, representing his local community.”
Down chairman Seamus Walsh said: “In the week that Down are preparing for their All-Ireland
semi final against Kildare, this puts everything in perspective.
“It's a terrible tragedy for his family, school, club and county.”
Police have said a post-mortem examination is due to be carried out, however, there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances.
Patrick is not the first young person in Northern Ireland to die suddenly and unexpectedly playing sport in recent years.
Last year Oisin McGuiness also 16, a fifth-year pupil at Abbey Grammar School in Newry, collapsed while playing soccer on March 14.
Cormac McAnallen (24), Tyrone's GAA football team captain, was found dead in his bed in March 2004. He had played gaelic games for most of his life and was described as a “great athlete”.