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29 Jun 2022

Limerick man killed in assault had a 'heart of gold'

Limerick man killed in assault had a “heart of gold”

Sadly missed: The late Alan Bourke / Picture: Facebook

TRIBUTES have been flooding in for Alan Bourke following his tragic death on Good Friday.

Alan, aged 48, originally from St Mary’s Park, passed away at University Hospital Limerick a short time after he was assaulted at Parnell Street, near Colbert Station.

Friends, sports clubs and former teammates have been remembering the talented sportsman who represented the Republic of Ireland at Junior soccer level in his youth.

In a Tweet, Live 95's soccer correspondent Mike Aherne said: "Very sorry to hear of the tragic passing of Alan Bourke. Alan was a cracking striker with that famous Mungret Regional team under Pat Irwin. May he rest in peace."

His talent on the pitch was matched by his personality off it. This shines through from countless tributes paid by those who knew him best. They speak of a loyal friend who adored his family.

"An absolute legend of a guy. Rest in peace my friend," said one. While another wrote on social media: "Rest in eternal peace our dear, sweet, kind, funny and adorable rogue."

A friend of Mr Bourke’s said he had "a heart of gold".

There is a deep sense of shock and sadness that they won’t meet Alan coming around a corner in the city. His playing days have been also fondly recalled.

In a Facebook post, Mungret Regional FC said they are saddened to hear of the passing of their former player.

"Alan joined the club when he was 17 and played minor for 2 years under manager Dermot Doolan, played Junior under Pat Irwin, and was on the team that were FAI Cup runners up in 1996. The team were awarded a Civic Reception by the then Mayor of Limerick, Jan O'Sullivan.

"Alan wore the club's number 10 jersey and he was a really talented player for the club. There will be a minute’s silence at today's matches as a sign of respect. All at Mungret Regional FC would like to pass on their condolences to Alan's family and friends. May he rest in peace," it reads.

While best known as a striker Alan was also gifted running with the oval ball.

St Mary’s RFC said the club is saddened to hear of his passing. 

"Alan was part of our all conquering under 18 team in 1989-90. We offer our deepest sympathies to the Bourke family at this very difficult time. May he rest in peace,” the club said in a Tweet.

Pike Rovers said their B team’s cup game vs Mungret Regional D is off this Sunday morning due to the sad passing of Alan. 

"Our deepest sympathies go out to Alan’s family and everyone at Mungret Regional at this sad time," said the club.

Poignantly, Alan’s last post on Facebook - two days before he died - was an empowering message which included the line: "Your heart is stronger than any feeling when you are down."

Roxboro Superintendent Dermot O’Connor has appealed to the public for their assistance in the investigation.

"Our first appeal is for any person who was in the Parnell Street area here in Limerick on Good Friday, between 10pm and 10.40pm to contact us; for any person who was in Parnell Street and the nearby Lord Edward Street and Davis Street who may have camera footage, including dash-cam footage, to make that footage available to our investigating gardai and (thirdly) for any person who has information relevant to our investigation to contact Roxboro Road garda station at (061) 214340,” said Supt O’Connor.

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