Grief at sudden death of Limerick student Ogie

Community in mourning as youngster dies in his sleep

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Grief at sudden death of Limerick student Ogie

Sudden death: Ogie Barrett

A COMMUNTY is in mourning after an up-and-coming rugby player was found dead in bed at his home in Raheen in Limerick.

Ogie Barrett, 17, who played rugby for Old Crescent’s under-18s, and was in fifth year at Crescent College Comprehensive, was found in the early hours of New Year’s Day by his devastated mother Ita.

The youngster has been described as “great fun” with a “fantastic sense of humour” by Helen O’Donnell, who chairs the board of management at the school.

Meanwhile, Old Crescent, where he lined out, has said a “veil of sadness” hangs over the club.

Although the cause of death has yet to be determined, it is believed Ogie – whose family live on Church Road, Raheen – may have lost his life to Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. He died 'suddenly and peacefully at home'.

It is the second tragedy to have befallen the family after his father Ray died suddenly almost three years ago.

Ogie will be laid to rest after Requiem Mass in Raheen Church at 12 noon today, while his school will remain closed.

Ms O’Donnell said: “The school family is devastated by this. It’s just so shocking and so very very sad. We are shocked and saddened by such a sudden death at a young age. It’s something the school community has not had to deal with in a long number of years.”

Many of Ogie’s schoolmates learnt of the devastating news while on a ski-trip in Italy – and school principal Karin Fleming is returning to be present at the funeral, which will be led by chaplain Fr Jim Maher.

The school community also came together on Bank Holiday Monday to say prayers for the teenager.

“He was a very quiet boy, a very good boy. He never caused his mother an ounce of trouble, or the school for that matter. He was very highly regarded, great fun, and had a fantastic sense of humour. He was a witty boy, and will be sadly missed,” Ms O’Donnell added.

Ogie is survived by mum Ita, brothers Joe and Paul, aunts Nora, Jacinta, Kay and Jill; Paul's fiancee Aoife and Joe's girlfriend Kayleigh, cousins and friends.