Boy (14) dies on sleepover in best friend's home
THE 14-year-old was taken ill in the early hours after he complained of feeling unwell.
Jonathan O'Regan collapsed in his friend's front doorway near Leap, West Cork at around 3.30am yesterday.
Despite the efforts of an adult in the house, and medics when they arrived, he was pronounced dead a short time later at Bantry General Hospital.
The cause of death remains unclear at this stage, however it is believed Jonathan, also known as Jonny, suffered from asthma.
The teenager was a promising young GAA player and was described as a "tremendous" young man by a family friend today.
He is survived by his parents John and Shelia and siblings Bryan, Darragh, Conor, Eli and Nicholas and his sisters Lisa and Caroline.
Local parish priest Fr Pat O'Sullivan said the community would be offering their prayers for Jonathan and the O'Regan family at this tragic time.
Today, Jonathan’s Under-14 coach with the Kilmacabea GAA club, Kevin O’Driscoll, said his team-mates want to win a championship in Jonathan’s memory.
“He was the great character on our team. If there was ever messing going on you knew that Jonathan would somehow be involved,” he said.
Mr O’Driscoll said that although the teenager had asthma and had to bring an inhaler to training and matches, he was passionate about playing.
“He always played corner forward and he had a great eye for goal,” Mr O’Driscoll said. Jonathan scored the winning goal when his club won the West Cork championship last year, beating local rivals Kilmeen.
He also excelled in the semi-final, scoring a goal and three points. As a gesture of respect for his family, the West Cork Under-16 championship semi-final has been cancelled tonight.
Mr O’Driscoll said that a special team meeting was staged to ask players whether they wanted to withdraw from their championship.
But team-mates insisted that they wanted to continue in the West Cork championship and have now vowed to win it in Jonathan’s memory.
He went to school at Mount St Michael's in nearby Rosscarbery. A notice on the school's website expressed the sadness of pupils and staff alike.
“Mt St Michael is saddened to learn of the death of our 3rd Yr Jonathan O' Regan. May he rest in peace,” it said.
Principal Michael Bart Kerrisk said today: “Our school community is in deep sorrow at the loss of our student, teammate and neighbour Jonathan O’Regan. Our hearts go out to his parents, family and friends at this very difficult time.
“We, the management and staff of the school, board management and parents’ association will support them in any way we can in dealing with their grief.
“Jonathan was full of fun, extremely well known and popular with a promising football career. We mourn his loss.”
His remains were reposing at his home in Leap today.
A Requiem Mass will take place at 2pm in St Mary's Parish Church in Leap. Jonny will be laid to rest in Kilfachtnabeg Cemetery in Glandore. Jonathan’s father works as a builder and is a well-respected businessman in the rural area.
Several local people today described him as a “great local character” and one of the best known in the tight knit Glandore and Leap community.
The tragic teenager dreamt of playing football for Cork.
His sporting hero is Graham Canty, who captained Cork to the All-Ireland football final in 2010, lifting the Sam Maguire.
Jonathan loved fishing and all outdoor activities as well.