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It was with great sadness that we learned yesterday of the death of the talented Kilmaine GAA and All-Ireland winning minor footballer, 19 year-old Darragh Doherty in a tragic accident on Sunday night near Ballinrobe.

It seems like only yesterday that Darragh was lighting up the Connacht and All-Ireland Minor Championships with those magic goals, and his individual display in September 2013, on one of the greatest footballing days  in our proud county’s history, will live long in the hearts and minds of Mayo gaels worldwide. His colleagues in Kilmaine GAA have described him as “an outstanding footballer who bought honour and glory to club and county”, and anyone who witnessed him play will know just how much commitment he brought to the cause.

All of us at Club ’51 would like to extend our deepest, heartfelt sympathies to Darragh’s family, friends, clubmates at Kilmaine GAA and from the Mayo minor squad and management. This is the second such tragedy to hit the Kilmaine GAA community in recent months, and our thoughts are also with the family of the late Pádraig O’Dea at this time. We would also like to wish Darragh’s friend Niall, who was also involved in the accident a speedy recovery and our thoughts are with him too and over the coming months.

In what has truly been a tragic weekend for the Mayo GAA community, we also extend our sympathies to the loved ones of Daniel Rushe of Kilmovee GAA, who passed away over the weekend in Adelaide.

Such a loss of life at such a young age is hard to comprehend in its unfairness and senselessness, and this tragedy transcends any sporting rivalry or football game. But while it is hard to contemplate sport at such a tragic time, in sport lies solidarity and healing, and there is little doubt that Darragh’s family and friends will be in the thoughts of every Mayo and indeed Dublin supporter in Croke Park. So let us all do Darragh, who proudly represented our great county with such distinction, proud on the day.

Sleep well, Darragh, and thank you for the memories. You will never be forgotten.

Darragh Doherty (left) lifts the Tom Markham Cup with his teammate, Tommy Conroy on 22nd September 2013

Darragh Doherty (left) lifts the Tom Markham Cup with his teammate, Tommy Conroy on 22nd September 2013.

EDITED: To add in footage of this magical moment that will live long in our memories.  Thanks to Amanda Doherty for uploading.

 

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