Last week, Cork Coroner’s Court heard that Liam Duggan, of Ballymacelligott, Tralee, Co Kerry, died on May 9, having suffered from a rare and deadly form of colitis.
His wife Catherine told the inquest that Liam had been a picture of good health up to his sudden death and had been teaching dozens of children golf on a daily basis.
He experienced vomiting and diarrhoea in mid-March of this year and passed away at Cork University Hospital in May.
Ms Duggan told coroner Philip Comyn that her husband’s death had shattered her life, leaving her with two children, Jack, aged 4, and Amelia, 1.
“He was never sick,” she said. “He was full of energy and he loved life. He did everything he was told to get better. He took it easy and he took his medication. All it did was made him worse.
“We have two young children who have to learn about their dad from other people’s memories of him. I am a widow at 35. I can’t make sense of it.”
In the aftermath of the tragedy, Catherine’s sister, Elizabeth Fleming, set up a Gofundme page with the aim of raising €40,000 for the family.
In a post on the page, Elizabeth says the passing of her brother-in-law has led to an outpouring of kindness and generosity.
“Thank you so much to everyone for all the new love and support we have received recently,” she said. “It’s still so hard to believe and every single day we all stop and think to ourselves ‘did this really happen?’ It still seems too surreal to all of us.
“If this happened to anyone else, Liam would have been the first one to support another family so we are so appreciative of your generosity. We truly thank you for the help you are giving my poor sister, and Jack and Amelia.
:We still need help to get my sister through this extremely tough time. If you could find it in your heart to donate any amount we would greatly appreciate it and you would be making such a huge difference to their lives. This would ensure that Catherine can focus on Jack and Amelia and not have to worry about finances for the time being.”
Assistant State pathologist Margaret Bolster gave the cause of death as multiple organ failure due to septic shock due to colitis.
She said cases such as Mr Duggan’s normally involve clostridium difficile and that it was “extremely rare” that this was not present.
Cork City Coroner Philip Comyn said Liam was heavily involved in teaching golf to young children and was doing “great work”. A verdict of natural causes was recorded in the case.
Donations can be made to the Liam Duggan appeal at