President leads tribute to Tipperary pitcher Dillon Quirke who died after collapsing in game – The Irish Times

Tributes have been paid to Tipperary pitcher Dillon Quirke, who died Friday after collapsing on the field during a senior championship game in the county.

President Michael D Higgins was among those to express his condolences to his family, describing Quirke’s death as an “incalculable loss not only to his family and friends, but to his entire community to which he made such a contribution.”

Quirke played for his club Clonoulty Rossmore in a match against Kilruane MacDonaghs at Semple Stadium in Thurles. The FBD Insurance County Senior Hurling Championship game was called off after the 24-year-old collapsed on the field.

He was taken off the field on a stretcher and taken to hospital, but later died. A Tipperary GAA spokesperson confirmed that Quirke had passed away Friday night.

The 24-year-old made his Tipp debut in the senior standings against Limerick in January 2020, after winning All-Ireland minor and Under-21 medals with the county in 2016 and 2018 respectively. He started all four of Tipperary’s Munster Hurling Championship matches this year. All championship hurling championships scheduled for this weekend in Tipperary should be postponed out of respect.

GAA president Larry McCarthy has expressed his condolences to Quirke’s family and friends.

“There is a tremendous sense of shock in the GAA community over the tragic loss of Dillon, who had already accomplished so much in his young life,” McCarthy said.

“He was a young man in his prime with so much potential and promise and on behalf of the GAA family I would like to express my condolences to Dillon’s mother and father, Dan and Hazel, and his sisters, Shannon and Kellie, at what has been an unimaginably difficult time .”

In a statement, Tipperary GAA said it “expresses its sincere and heartfelt condolences to Dan, Hazel, Shannon, Kellie and the extended Quirke family. Also to the Clonoulty Rossmore GAA Club and his teammates on the sad and tragic passing of Clonoulty Rossmore and Tipperary pitcher Dillon Quirke.”

“Dillon fell ill during Friday night’s County Senior Hurling Championship game between Clonoulty Rossmore and Kilruane MacDonaghs at Semple Stadium and was taken to Tipperary University Hospital in Clonmel where he died,” it read.

“Tipperary GAA would like to thank everyone who attended to Dillon at Semple Stadium and Tipperary University Hospital tonight. As a sign of respect for Dillon, Tipperary GAA has canceled all matches due to take place at the County Hurling Championships this weekend,” the statement said.

Sports Secretary Jack Chambers described Quirke’s “incredible sports talent that was taken way too young”.

The Gaelic Players Association said Quirke will be “forever young” and his family, friends and teammates were first and foremost in the minds of all players across Ireland.

“We cannot imagine your pain, but will walk with you and support you in every way possible. Rest in peace Dillon. We mourn your loss and celebrate your life,” the GPA said in a tweet.

Former Tipperary All-Ireland winning manager Liam Sheedy described Quirke as a “stunning person on and off the pitch and the whole GAA family is stunned by the news tonight”.

His former employers, H&MV Engineer, said Quirke had completed four years of his electrical apprenticeship at H&MV and was a “highly valued and respected member of our team.”

A minute of silence will be observed on Sunday for GAA club matches across the country.

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