The heartbroken brother of a talented young sports star who collapsed and died while playing a football match said his younger sibling had touched a huge number of people in his short life and was his “hero”.
There were emotional scenes at St Abina’s Church, Clondrohid, Co Cork, yesterday for the requiem Mass of 16-year-old Shane Murphy, who died suddenly on Monday.
Huge crowds gathered both inside and outside the country church to sympathise with his parents, Dan and Marguerite, his brothers, Neilus, Colin, and Daniel, and sister, Caoimhe, and to remember the fifth-year student at Coláiste Ghobnatán, Ballyvourney, who “brought light into everyone’s life”.
His brother Neilus told the huge crowd that while everybody thought Shane was an “angel”, that behind closed doors, he was “the biggest messer you’d ever come across”.
He said sport was his younger brother’s “passion” and that he loved hurling and football.
“Words cannot describe how gifted Shane was,” he said.
Neilius recalled how he was at the match on Monday during which Shane collapsed.
“He got the ball went for a goal and…. he missed it,” said Neilius.
“I looked at him and he looked at me and we both smiled at each other and he put his hands up to his head… He had a smile on his face. It was like he wanted me there to see him play his last game.
“Shane will always be in our memory because the amount of people he touched in his short life.
“We are so proud of Shane... He is my hero and he will always be. Shane you will never walk alone.”
During the ceremony, school friends from Coláiste Ghobnatán wept openly as did other members of the congregation.
A Christmas present, a hurley, a football, and three sports jerseys, including a Liverpool jersey, were among the symbols of the teenager’s life brought to the altar.
Fr Anthony Wickham said Shane was a great son and brother and a talented and dedicated sportsman who had a promising future ahead of him.
He told how the 16-year-old had put up the Christmas decorations at home just days before his sudden death.
His fellow students and members of Clondrohid GAA Club formed a guard of honour as his coffin was taken from the church.
Shane was playing in the Cork Vocational Colleges semi-final against Kinsale last Monday when, just 10 minutes into the second half, he became suddenly unwell and collapsed.
The match was immediately abandoned as teachers attempted to revive Shane.
He was taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
His death is the third sudden death of a young person in Cork in the past three months.
Model and University College Cork student, Deirdre Lynch, who collapsed suddenly while working at Eco restaurant in Douglas on Saturday, was laid to rest on Wednesday.
In October, talented hurler James Fitzgerald, 16, from Charleville in North Cork, collapsed and died as he was working out with some gym equipment.
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