Shock as student dies on eve of Junior Certificate

A small community has been plunged into grief following the sudden death of a popular 15-year-old who was due to begin his Junior Certificate today.

The full results of the autopsy on Tadhg Coleman, from Killeagh, Co Cork, are not expected for several days.

It is understood that a family member discovered Tadhg collapsed in the family home last Monday night and, with the assistance of a neighbour, attempted unsuccessfully to revive him.

Nearly 130 fellow pupils at his school, Midleton CBS, will be offered counselling following the tragedy.

A candle stood in the doorway of the family’s newsagents in the village’s main street yesterday as scores of mourners came to offer their sympathy to his mother Ursula, his father John, and younger sister Kelly.

Parish priest Fr John Broderick said the teenager’s sudden death was being felt over a wide area of East Cork. “I baptised Tadhg and watched him grow, and I never thought I’d see this happen. He was such a lovely young fellow.”

He urged people to continue to support the Coleman family in the weeks and months ahead “when the real pain will kick in”. He said his thoughts were also with Tadhg’s classmates. “If they want to honour Tadhg they will do the Junior Cert the best they can. That would be a tribute to him.”

Midleton CBS principal Pat Hurley said Tadhg was “very well liked by his fellow pupils and teachers. Our thoughts and prayers at this time are with his family and friends.”

He said three psychologists were dispatched by the Department of Education to the school yesterday and had advised staff on how to help pupils deal with the emotional strain of the tragedy.

Tadhg was a member of the Killeagh U15 hurling team which won the county championship last year.

Club chairman Tim Crotty said it was hard to see any justice in the world when somebody so popular would die at such a young age. He said just hours before Tadhg died, he had been pucking a sliothar on the sidelines of the local pitch with friends as they watched a match.

“He was just an unbelievably jolly person. He was well liked by everybody and loved his sport. Tadhg was a great character and he was part of the furniture at Killeagh GAA. He will be an enormous loss to the entire community.”

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