Tragic fan had not planned to stay in Dublin

A GAA fan who drowned while celebrating his team’s victory at Croke Park on Sunday only decided to stay in Dublin at the last minute.

Andrew Duffy drowned when he slipped into the Canal near Binn’s Bridge at Phibsboro after watching Donegal beat Cork to reach the All-Ireland final.

The 24-year-old from Termon, 13km from Letterkenny, fell into the water shortly before midnight while walking to where he was staying with friends.

He was rushed to the Mater Hospital but was pronounced dead at 12.45am.

It has emerged that Mr Duffy had taken a bus from Termon to Dublin on Saturday and had planned to return to Donegal after the game.

However, the young farmer decided to celebrate with a friend, Stephen McElwaine, whose brother’s apartment was vacant on Sunday night as he was working overnight as a nurse.

Mr Duffy’s home parish of Termon is in mourning today.

He played senior football for Termon GAA club and was hugely respected in the community.

He had been part of a talented side which won the All-Ireland Gaeltacht junior championship.

Mr Duffy’s father John, a waterworks caretaker with Donegal County Council, and mother Margaret, along with sisters Leanne and Caroline, were last night being comforted by family and friends.

A special Mass in his memory was attended last night by hundreds of people, including members of the Donegal senior football team, at St Columba’s Church, Termon.

Chairman of Termon GAA club, Joe McDaid, said that Mr Duffy was a modest and quiet young man whose death had numbed the community.

“Andrew was such a lovely young fella and was quiet and modest. He farmed and did a lot of fencing.

“People woke up to hear this news and just didn’t believe what happened.

“It has taken the whole shine off Donegal’s win for us. People are thinking about getting tickets for the All-Ireland final but we’re just thinking of poor Andrew and his family.

“It’s just awful what has happened.”

Former Fianna Fáil government minister James McDaid, a neighbour and family friend of the Duffys, said he was shocked to hear of Mr Duffy’s death.

Dr McDaid’s nephew, Mr McElwaine, was with Mr Duffy just seconds before he slipped into the water.

“It is just so tragic,” said Dr McDaid. “Andrew was a lovely young lad and he and his father would have opened my mother’s grave when she passed away.

“I know the family well and they are very well respected in the community.”

Dr McDaid said he had been in touch with the coroner’s office and hoped an autopsy could be held as quickly as possible.

“They have told me they had a very busy weekend,” said Dr McDaid. “They are trying their best and there is a possibility the post-mortem can be held Tuesday morning.

“Hopefully that can take place and Andrew’s remains can be released to his family.”

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