Having seen the many reports of athletes collapsing and some dying in various sports recently, I thought it would be beneficial to see if the same thing is happening in GAA.
The unexpected death of any club athlete usually receives prominent local and often even national press coverage, befitting the GAA’s place at the heart of community life on the island.
Below is a list of all reported deaths by heart attacks, sudden deaths, unexpected deaths or deaths after unspecified short illnesses for all male and female GAA players and referees under 50, between 2018 until this month.
This does not include deaths after long illnesses or accidents. Nor does it include other sports. Recent reports from 2021-22 are short on detail regarding cause of death and do not give ages in many cases.
Finally, this is not meant to provoke outrage, merely a conversation that probably needs to be had.
January: (48), Naomh Comhghail GAA Club, County Antrim – dies from heart attack.
January: (12), Bray Emmets GAA Club, County Wicklow – dies after collapse at home.
February:(14), Ballygalget GAA Club, County Down – dies suddenly.
September: (38), Tir na Nog GAA Club, County Antrim – dies suddenly.
November: Eoin Byrne (18), Clonmore GAA Club, County Carlow – dies tragically.
May: (20s) Bective Cannistown GAA Club, County Meath -Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.
September: (17) Oldcastle GAA Club, County Meath – dies suddenly.
February: (30s) Clann nan Gael GAA Club, County Roscommon – cardiac arrest.
March: (44) Creggs GAA Club, County Roscommon – dies suddenly
March: (29) St Brigid’s Kiltoom GAA Club, County Roscommon – dies suddenly
October: (33), Na Fianna GAA Club, County Tyrone – dies suddenly
October: (31), Killarney Legion GAA Club, County Kerry – dies after being taken ill at work.
July: (16), Lisnaskea Emmetts GAA Club, County Fermanagh – dies suddenly.
July: (teens-20s), Drumgath GAA Club, County Down – dies suddenly.
July: (teens-20s), Beagh GAA Club, County Galway – dies unexpectedly
August: (35), Silverbridge Harps GFC, County Armagh – dies suddenly.
September: (40s), Colligan GAA Club, County Waterford – dies suddenly.
October: Conor Montague (teens-20s) St Paul’s GAA Club, County Laois – dies unexpectedly.
December : Sarah Mullen (23), Good Counsel GAA Club, County Dublin – dies suddenly.
January: (teens-20s), Drung GAC, County Cavan – dies suddenly.
February: (40s), Stabannon Parnells GAC, County Louth – dies suddenly.
February: (32), County Down, founder of Shunde Gaels in Guangdong– dies suddenly
February: (19), Glynn Barntown, County Wexford – dies suddenly.
March: (20s), St Vincent’s GAC and Castleview FC, County Cork – dies unexpectedly.
March: (20s), Fr Sheehy’s GAC, County Tipperary – dies unexpectedly.
March: (40s), Charleville Kilbeggan GAC, County Offaly – dies unexpectedly.
March: (20s), Fuerty GAA, County Roscommon – died tragically.
March: (40), Ballyhale Shamrocks GAC, County Kilkenny – suspected heart attack
April: (22), Ballyea GAC, County Clare – dies suddenly.
April: (20s) Westport GAC, County Mayo – dies suddenly.
April: (14), Maheracloone Ladies GAC, County Monaghan – dies suddenly.
April: (20s) (Lurgan Ladies GFC), County Cavan, a Long QT sufferer, dies unexpectedly.
April: (21), Curry GAA Club, County Sligo, dies suddenly
April: (20s) John Mitchels GFC – dies tragically.
May: (30) Graigcullen GAA, Co Laois, dies suddenly
May: (30s-40s), Bord na nOg Acla GAC, County Mayo – dies unexpectedly.