A THIRTEEN-year-old boy who died after suffering an asthma attack following a hurling match had scored the winning goal in the game, it has emerged.
The schoolboy who has been named locally as James Long from Kilmallock had scored the goal to secure the win for the local U14 side in a match against Patrickswell on Wednesday evening.
The teenager who had just completed first year at Colaiste Iosaef in Kilmallock is understood to have taken ill on Wednesday night after returning home from the hurling game which was played in Patrickswell.
According to sources, the boy was in great spirits after scoring the winning goal when he was brought on as a substitute, and he appeared to have been well after the game. It is understood that he suffered the asthma attack during the night and was rushed to the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick.
Principal of Colaiste Iosaef in Kilmallock, Sean Twomey, said the popular student was well known for his “outgoing and bubbly” personality and his love of sport.
“He had scored the winning goal in the hurling game last night. He had come on as a sub. He was very popular with students and staff,” said Mr Twomey.
“He was a good student. His personality is what would have made him stand out from everybody else. You couldn’t miss him around the place with his distinctive red hair and his roguish charm,” he added.
The talented sports star was a member of the first year soccer team which won the North Munster title this year. He also had a keen interest in greyhounds.
“He got his summer holidays three weeks ago. His sister Kate had just finished her Leaving Cert while his other sister Sarah had finished transition year,” said Mr Twomey.
Many classmates of the schoolboy have expressed their sadness at the news of his death by posting messages on his Facebook site.
Kilmallock GAA club chairman, Val Moloney, described the loss of James as “shattering” for the club.
“It is a very sad, shattering day for the club. He was a lovely boy and our sympathies go to his family at this difficult time,” he said.
Locals in the town described James as “the apple of his mother Barbara’s eye”.
Assistant secretary of the club, Olivia Maguire, said the club was “deeply saddened” by the loss of the boy who she described as “a loveable rogue”.
Local councillor and former Kilmallock and Limerick hurler, Mike Houlihan, said the news has had “a numbing effect” on the entire parish.
“It is devastating. He was a lovely young lad and was always up and down the street with a hurley in his hand or behind the goal collecting the sliothars. I don’t know how we are going to tell the other young lads. It’s just devastating,” he said.
Colaiste Iosaef will be open from 2pm to 4pm this Friday to enable students to gather together to remember James.