Tributes pour in for GAA star killed in tragic accident
Tributes have been paid to Kerry footballer Patrick Curtin, who died from head injuries after a car accident in Central America.
Former Kerry star and diaspora minister Jimmy Deenihan said the young man's death is a huge loss.
"I knew his family very well and I coached a team that he played in," said Mr Deenihan.
"He was an excellent footballer. Patrick was a skilled crafts person and a very professional and valued employee at Liebherr, so he will be hugely missed by all of us."
Patrick (26), from the village of Moyvane, is understood to have fallen from a moving vehicle in Guatemala on Friday.
He had been working there with the Liebherr Container Crane company, which has a factory in Killarney.
Local sources said Patrick was a passenger in a car, but somehow fell from it in a tragic accident.
It took a long time for an ambulance to reach him, as the area is remote.
After the accident Patrick was in a coma in a local hospital and was then airlifted to Miami for more specialised treatment, where his family kept vigil by his bedside.
However, his injuries proved too grave and he passed away yesterday morning. The tragic news was announced by Kerry GAA in a statement.
Patrick was a former minor and senior footballer during his Kerry football career. His father John works with Kerry County Council, and he is also survived by his mother Eileen and two sisters.
"He was an outstanding footballer and a great club man. Everyone would have known him, and we were all proud of his achievements for Kerry football," local councillor Pat Leahy said, adding that the community was "devastated".
"Shocked to hear of the passing of young Kerry footballer Patrick Curtin. Sincere sympathy to his family and to all in Moyvane," sports broadcaster Des Cahill wrote on Twitter.
"I would like offer our sincere sympathies to the Curtin family, to Kerry GAA, the Moyvane club and to everyone associated with Patrick, whose tragic loss has come as a terrible shock to the GAA community," said Dessie Farrell, the chief executive of the Gaelic Players' Association.