Limerick man, 30s, dies after suffering cardiac arrest during soccer training

Maria Flannery


Maria Flannery

Soccer fan: Cain McKee

Soccer fan: Cain McKee

A COUNTY Limerick community has been left devastated following the death of a man in his 30s after he suffered cardiac arrest while playing soccer.

It has emerged that Cain McKee, from Pallaskenry, had got engaged to his girlfriend just days before he lost his life.

The tragedy happened on Monday night at Kilcornan’s sports field, when a group of around 20 friends were playing football. Mr McKee, a goalkeeper, collapsed just moments after kicking the ball out during training. One of the men present was trained in CPR and in defibrillator use. A defibrillator was available and used during the incident.

The friends have been playing every Monday night for around four years.

“No one thought this could happen. He was fit and healthy. The ambulance took him away and we got the dreaded call sometime after to say he was gone,” said one friend who was present.

Tributes have been paid to the avid soccer fan, who has played with numerous clubs in the city and county. In a post on Facebook, Summerville Rovers announced with regret that “all-round nice guy” Cain passed away.

“We offer our deepest condolences to his brother Gavin and all his family.”

Prospect Priory FC posted: “With deep regret and sadness we announce the sudden death of our former goalkeeper and friend Cain McKee who passed away suddenly yesterday playing the sport he loved.

“Cain was such a lovely down to earth guy, liked by everyone who met him, everyone at our club will miss him,” the club added.

Cain and his fiancée Stephanie had celebrated their engagement just days before. He is also survived by his mother Theresa, father Barry, step-father Gerard, and siblings Gavin, Fursa, Senan and Denise.

His funeral Mass is due to take place on Friday at 12 noon in Kilcornan church.

The quick thinking of the medically-trained friend at the scene gave him “the best chance” at life, said a witness. The incident has highlighted the need for people to complete training in CPR and AED use, skills which could save lives in similar situations.

Medical practitioner with Munster Medics, Donal O’Brien, helps to teach Pallaskenry locals in CPR and first response. He called on the Minister for Education to introduce CPR as a compulsory module in secondary school.

“Everyone going through the education system should be trained up in CPR. It is a three-hour course. It should be mandatory because when it’s optional, people are not doing it. For the sake of two to three hours, it could save a life,” he said.

“One of the men there knew what to do. If everyone was trained up, they would also know what to do.”