GAA star died after colliding with player’s knee

A TALENTED young GAA star died of severe brain damage following an accidental collision on the pitch when his head collided with the knee of another player, an inquest has heard.

Philip ‘Philly’ McGuinness, 26, of Shannagh, Mohill, Co Leitrim, died at Beaumont hospital on Monday, April 19 having sustained a severe head injury during a football game two days previously.

Mr McGuinness’ brothers, John and Michael, were also playing on the Annaduff pitch.

The Leitrim senior county footballer had been playing a club match for Mohill on the evening of Saturday, April 17, 2010, when he was involved in a collision with Fabian McMorrow of the opposing team.

Mr McMorrow told the inquest he was playing centre half-back for Melvin Gaels at the time of the incident at Annaduff pitch.

“Philip and David McSharry from Melvin Gaels contested the ball in the air. I went in to contest the ball. Philip’s head collided with my knee and I heard a crack. I knew quickly it wasn’t my knee.”

Mr McMorrow said he got up straight away, but Mr McGuinness was still lying on the pitch.

Gareth Phelan, the goalkeeper for Melvin Gaels, said: “Close to half-time I saw David McSharry and Philip jump for the ball. The ball dropped to the ground and Philip dived at it. At the same time Mr McMorrow came in.”

Referee Gerry Spellman said two players went for the ball, with Mr McGuinness making a dive for it. He said Mr McMorrow was coming in at speed and could not stop.

Lucia Tyrell, a sports therapist with Mohill, said Mr McGuinness’ head collided three times, once with the knee of Mr McMorrow and twice with the ground.

“I went over and he was having a seizure.”

He began to come round but there was no response from his left side, she said, adding he could squeeze her hand with his right hand but not with his left.

Coroner Dr Brain Farrell said Mr McGuinness was deeply unconscious on admission to Sligo General Hospital on Saturday.

Dr Michael A Farrell, a consultant neurosurgeon at Beaumont hospital, found Mr McGuinness died of cranial cerebral trauma.

The inquest heard that two people had benefited from Mr McGuinness’ organs.

Picture: SPORTSFILE

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