herald

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Tragic Daniel 'had kind heart and was our hero', say heartbroken pals

Private Daniel Donougher died suddenly after falling ill
Private Daniel Donougher died suddenly after falling ill

Comrades and friends of a 23-year-old soldier who died after falling ill at his army barracks have described the loss as a "big shock".

Three-star Private Daniel Donougher was found in an "unresponsive state" in his bed at 1.20pm on Thursday by his colleagues at Sarsfield Barracks, Limerick.

It is understood he fell ill during the unit's Organised Recreational Physical Training.

As the news of his death sank in, friends and fellow soldiers spoke fondly of the Cork man.

Kind

One of his best friends, Thomas Bermingham, said he was a hero to all who knew him.

"He was the type of person who would be ready to take us on all sorts of adventures and road trips across the country.

"He had such a kind heart and would do anything for anyone. He had many close friends from the town and in the Defence Forces and you would only hear good things said about him."

Close friend Bex McSweeney said Pte Donougher was her "knight in shining armour". "He was such a generous and kind soul. Even when I was sick, he would cycle on his bike just to bring me medicine.

"He was always smiling and trying to make our group of friends feel better when we were upset. We were such a big group, but he was our best friend." Felix McManus said Pte Donougher was very close to his mother.

"He used to call her a lot during training when we were in Cork. It's a big shock for all us lads who trained with him. We were all like brothers so he will be sorely missed by all," he said.

Pte Donougher was stationed with the 12th battalion and part of the 141 platoon in Limerick city. Another soldier friend said he had the ability to make anyone smile.

"We had some great memories together. We did it all together, recruit training and two-three star training, despite the hardship," he said.

Pte Donougher was taken by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick on Thursday where he later died.

Investigation

The death is not being treated as suspicious. An investigation will be carried out for the purposes of the coroner.

Many colleges of Pte Donougher changed their profile pictures on Facebook to an image of the Defence Forces logo with a black band across it, reading "RIP comrade".

Pte Donougher will be lying in repose at O'Connell's Funeral Home, St James' Avenue, Mallow, today from 4pm to 7pm followed by removal to the Church of the Resurrection. He will be buried with full military honours.

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