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Tributes flood in following deaths of young GAA players

Communities in Co Down and Co Fermanagh in mourning after separate tragedie


Katie-May McDermott

Katie-May McDermott

Katie-May McDermott

The GAA community has been devastated after suffering the loss of two young players in separate tragedies.

Daniel Bailie from Co Down died suddenly on Monday, and Katie-May McDermott from Co Fermanagh passed away last Saturday.

Tributes have been paid to Daniel, who was from Mayobridge, and Katie-May, a player with Lisnaskea Emmetts Ladies GAC.

Funeral Mass will be held today for Katie-May at Holy Cross Church in Lisnaskea at 11am.

The service will be for family and close friends only due to Covid restrictions. Interment will take place in the adjoining cemetery.

Daniel was described by Drumgath GAC in an online tribute as “one of the most popular and talented underage players that the club has ever had”.

Having represented Drumgath at every level, it also remembered his sense of humour and the close friendships he had with team-mates and coaches.

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“On behalf of the trustees, president, chairman, committee, players and members, both young and old, we wish to express our sincerest sympathies to the Bailie and Haughian families on the tragic loss of Daniel,” the club said.

“He was a young fella that gave everything he had when he pulled on the jersey and played the game with a style and speed rarely seen in the club.

" Many’s a fine game he played for the club, including an amazing man of the match performance in an U16 final in 2014.”

Drumgath revealed Daniel had represented the club “at every level”, adding that he was a “great role model”.

"Never a cross word spoken to either teammate, manager or opponent but at the same time [Daniel] could have his teammates in stitches with a few quick words and his unique sense of humour, a real credit to his family,” they said.

“As a club we were lucky to know Daniel and he will never be forgotten and in this time of great sadness our hearts go out to Daniel’s parents Martin and Tanya, his sisters Cliona, Niamh and Aoife and the whole family circle on the loss of their beloved son and brother and to all his friends near and far.”


Daniel Bailie

Daniel Bailie

Daniel Bailie

The man’s former school – St Mark’s High School in Warrenpoint – also paid tribute to him.

“Daniel was an incredible student who made a great impact while here in St Mark’s. He pulled on the purple jersey on numerous occasions and represented our school with pride. He was a true sportsman and a real gentleman,” it said.

A funeral notice described Daniel as a “dearly beloved son, brother, grandson, uncle and friend”, adding: “The family appreciates all the kindness shown in this very difficult time.”

The notice said the funeral details have yet to be announced but added the family wish to keep the house private for immediate family and invited friends only.

Katie-May’s death was described as a talented player whose "smile will live forever in the hearts of all those who knew her” by Lisnaskea Emmetts GAC.

In a club statement, it said everyone had been left “extremely shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic and untimely death” of  Katie-May.

"We extend our deepest sympathy to Katie-May’s parents Gabie and Brenda, brothers Shane, Louie and Danny and the extended McDermott and McGovern families at this most difficult time,” they continued.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with them all at this sad time. Katie-May will be deeply missed by her family, friends and our club”.

Messages of condolence were also expressed by Mount Lourdes Grammar School where Katie-May had attended as a pupil.

"The board of governors, staff and students of Mount Lourdes extend their deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of our Year 12 student Katie-May McDermott,” a school statement said.

Fermanagh Ladies GAC said in a statement that they offered their sincerest condolences to the teenager’s club. 

"All of us at Fermanagh LGFA and on behalf of our clubs across the county, offer our deepest sympathy to all at Lisnaskea Emmetts, on the tragic and untimely passing of their beloved talented player, Katie-May McDermott,” said the club.

A funeral notice for Katie-May said she was the “much-loved daughter of Brenda (nee McGovern) and Gabie” and was a “loving sister” to Shane, Louie and Danny.

The teenager was also described as the “devoted granddaughter of Catherine and Frankie”.

The notice said Katie-May will be sadly missed by her mother, father, brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, niece, cousins, and wider family circle.

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