Sudden deaths stun communities

The death of a 16-year-old schoolboy while playing a match yesterday brings to two the number of young people who died suddenly in Cork over the past few days.

Shane Murphy, from Clondrohid, Co Cork, was taking part in a schools match in Carrigadrohid when he collapsed on the pitch and later died. His death follows the tragic death at the weekend of 21-year-old Cork arts student Deirdre Lynch. The part-time model collapsed suddenly in front of diners while working at Eco’s Restaurant, in Douglas, Cork City, on Saturday.

Last night, the village of Clondrohid in West Cork was struggling to come to terms with the tragedy. Shane, who is survived by three brothers and one sister, was representing Coláiste Ghobnatan, Ballyvourney, in the Cork Vocational Schools county senior B football semi-final against Kinsale when he collapsed 10 minutes into the second half. He was on the pitch, but was not actively involved in play. The game was stopped and players were said to be traumatised.

His coach, teacher Mickey Ned O’Sullivan, and the Kinsale coach, teacher Brendan Duggan, carried out CPR. Shane was taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital but did not survive. A spokesperson for Clondrohid GAA club, of which Shane was a member, said their “thoughts and sympathies were with the Murphy family on this sad occasion”. Aindrias Moynihan, a local county councillor, said Shane’s death was “an awful shock”.

“It’s an awful blow for the family and indeed the wider community. My heart goes out to the family,” said Mr Moynihan.

Tributes continued to be paid to Deirdre Lynch last night. Dave Halpin, who runs Eco’s Restaurant, said his staff was struggling to come to terms with her death, and their thoughts were with her family.

“It is devastating for everyone,” said Mr Halpin. “She was talking one minute and the next she collapsed. You don’t expect this.”

Deirdre’s co-workers thought she had fainted when she collapsed, and phoned for an ambulance. But the seriousness of her condition emerged when she failed to respond as paramedics attempted to revive her.

Deirdre’s mother, Maire, rushed to the restaurant and accompanied her daughter in the ambulance to Cork University Hospital, but she never regained consciousness.

The results of an autopsy will form a key part of the coroner’s enquiry to establish if Deirdre died from sudden adult death syndrome.

Deirdre is survived by her parents, Kevin and Maire, and her older sister, Kate. She will be removed from O’Connor’s funeral home on the Boreenmanna Rd at 7.30pm today to the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Ballinlough, with burial at St Michael’s Cemetery in Blackrock tomorrow after 11am requiem Mass.

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