HUNDREDS of mourners gathered today to say farewell to an aspiring model who collapsed and died at a busy restaurant.
It is suspected that student Deirdre Lynch (20) died of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome as she worked as a waitress at a Douglas restaurant in Cork city.
The tragic second year student at University College Cork, was to be buried at the 11am Requiem Mass today at the Church of our Lady of Lourdes in Ballinlough.
This followed a removal last night from Temple Hill funeral home, as crowds of mourners packed out the Co Cork church.
Deirdre was a talented model and student and had recently been offered photoshoot contracts for the New Year.
She had been looking forward to a bright future in modelling and was a star of the University College Cork top Irish model of the future competition.
The young model's boss at the restaurant David Halpin, paid tribute to "an amazing girl and a wonderful colleague."
"She was talking one minute and the next she collapsed.
"When somebody that age collapses you think it is epilepsy or diabetes. You don't think it is her heart . . . you just don't expect this," he said.
Meanwhile, a family has spoken of their heartbreak after a sporty teen died from suspected Sudden Death Syndrome.
Shane Murphy (16) collapsed and died just 10 minutes into the second half of a Cork Vocational Colleges semi-final on Monday as his brother watched in horror from the sidelines.
Shane's aunt, Marie, told the Herald that the tragedy has devastated not just their tight knit family but the entire Clondrohid and Ballyvourney communities.
"Shane absolutely loved his sports. He was swinging a hurley and kicking footballs from as soon as he could walk.
"He was a gifted player and he would definitely have gone on to play for Cork," she said.
Shane was playing in the semi-final against Kinsale at Carrigadrohid last Monday when, just 10 minutes into the second half and with the ball at the other end of the pitch, he collapsed.
Mentors raced onto the pitch and desperately tried to revive him. Paramedics arrived at the scene within minutes and Shane was rushed to Cork University Hospital, but he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.