Irishman dies on honeymoon in Croatia

Tommy ‘Spike’ McCormack, 35, a powerlifting champion from Ballinamore, Co Leitrim died of a suspected heart-attack while he was in Split, Croatia last Saturday

Irishman dies on honeymoon in Croatia

A powerlifter from the west of Ireland who died suddenly while on honeymoon in Croatia is to be laid to rest on Tuesday.

Tommy ‘Spike’ McCormack, 35, a powerlifting champion from Ballinamore, Co Leitrim died of a suspected heart-attack while he was in Split, Croatia last Saturday with his wife Karen Guthrie by his side.

The couple who married last year delayed their honeymoon until this month.

His death notice on RIP.ie said he died "suddenly and unexpectedly in Croatia".

“Spike was loved far and wide and he will be sadly missed by all his neighbours, work colleagues, those who knew him through his many sporting endeavours and by his huge circle of friends," it added.

Mr McCormack’s remains will be reposing on Monday with his funeral Mass on Tuesday.

The family have asked that instead of flowers mourners donate to the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust.

Friends and family set-up a fundraising campaign to repatriate his body as quickly as possible.

A massive amount of donations has led to €67,000 being raised in less than a week.

Fundraiser organiser and sister-in-law of Tommy’s, Michelle Guthrie said: “The funds raised will go towards facilitating the most comfortable final journey for our beloved Spike.

“This includes a donation to The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust whose aims are to alleviate the financial hardship of bereaved families repatriating the body (bodies) of loved one(s) who have died abroad in sudden or tragic circumstances back to Ireland.

“Without the trust we would truly be lost. Their ability to promptly respond in our time of need has been invaluable. We would like to pay it forward by collecting funds for families when they experience tragedies like this.

“Always known for his generosity to any cause, we ask that you take the time, to honour Spike and help us thank them for their exceptional care at this terrible time.”

Emergency services, and two Croatian police officers who witnessed the Irish man’s collapse in Split immediately began administering CPR, but despite their best efforts Mr McCormack passed away.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said they are providing consular assistance.

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