Limerick GAA star hurt in crash aims to be back for first round

Donal O’Regan


Donal O’Regan

'Coming around' after car crash: Daragh Fanning, Pallasgreen, far right, pictured with John Kiely, under 21  Limerick hurling manager and Abbey CBS Principal with his daughter Ruth, plus Brian Fanning and Eoghan McNamara
BRAVE under-21 Limerick hurler Daragh Fanning, who was involved in a horrific car accident on Sunday night, says he hopes to be back for the first round of the championship.

BRAVE under-21 Limerick hurler Daragh Fanning, who was involved in a horrific car accident on Sunday night, says he hopes to be back for the first round of the championship.

The 18-year-old, from Pallasgreen, is out of an induced coma and damage to the brain has been ruled out. He is communicating with family and friends and underwent an operation on his jaws on Tuesday. Miraculously, the rest of his body escaped injury in the single-car accident at Towerhill, Cappamore shortly after midnight on Sunday.

Speaking this Wednesday his dad, Jimmy, said his son, who won a Munster minor championship medal last year, is coming around.

“He is tough. He actually looked to get up this morning, he got out of bed and he sat out on the chair. He said he was ‘sick from lying on the bed’, said Jimmy.

“He is writing and texting and says he hopes to be back for the first round of the championship,” he added.

Daragh has received countless well wishes from Pallasgreen GAA; Bruff RFC; minor, under 21 and senior Limerick players; fellow pupils and staff in Abbey CBS; neighbours; relatives and friends. Players and management of the Limerick senior hurling team all signed a get well soon card.

On behalf of all the Fanning family, Jimmy wished to thank everybody for their support and especially Paul and Claire O’Donovan, who quickly raised the alarm after the accident happened near their house; ambulance crews; fire brigade in Cappamore; gardai and the doctors and nurses in University Hospital Limerick.

“The whole lot of them were brilliant, they couldn’t have been any better or done anymore for Daragh,” said Jimmy.

Daragh’s under-21 Limerick manager just happens to be his school principal as well, John Kiely.Daragh’s fitness may have saved his life.

“We have been told that his own body strength was a huge factor in helping him to survive the accident. For the last number of weeks he has been involved with the Limerick under-21 team in a strength and conditioning course. He is obviously very dedicated to his fitness and is big into his sport.

“It is great that his physical fitness and his involvement in sport actually helped him to survive the accident,” said John.

Indeed, Jimmy said when the nurses asked Daragh his weight and his height they said, “Would he have any idea?”

Much to their surprise, “He could tell them to a tee” said Jimmy.

“He is doing so much training and watching his weight,” he said. It should have been a great week for the talented sportsman, who has been sitting his pre-Leaving Cert exams.

The cousin of John Hayes was part of the Abbey CBS team that won the Munster under 18 and a half B football title at the weekend

“Even talking to the team management at half-time Daragh played a huge part in leading the team in what he said and how he said it. He showed all his experience that he has amassed in recent years in sport when it most mattered and it most counted.

“They would all have suffered huge defeats up along through the school, they never really won anything as such and to win in their last game as it were with the school was a fantastic achievement for them.

“We were all so happy on Saturday with the result and the victory and coming to school on Monday morning expecting to be celebrating the win with the rest of the school,” said John.

Thankfully, those celebrations have just been postponed. “He is doing very well with us and we are looking forward to getting him back training in the future,” said the under-21 manager.

Jimmy wished to warn other young people to be careful on the roads.

Sunday night was very foggy and as Jimmy says: “It only takes two seconds ... ”