The Laois man who died tragically in Cork has been named locally as 34-year-old Liam Kealy from Luggacurren.
News of his death has been greeted with shock in his native Luggacurren and beyond.
The late Mr Kealy’s body was recovered from the River Lee over the weekend after he was there on a stag weekend with friends from the St Joseph’s GAA club.
A son of Tom and Margaret Kealy, Liam was a long-serving and valued member of the St Joseph’s GAA Club.
His family have strong ties to the club, going back generations.
He lined out for a time with Laois under manager Justin McNulty and was described as a very determined player who never gave up.
Fondly known by his nickname ‘Squeaks’, he was a very popular player and member of the local community. He worked locally as a plumber.
His wife Ashling (nee Doyle) from Ballylinan also has very strong GAA ties, particularly through her cousins Tom and Stephen Kelly.
The couple have a 13-year-old daughter, Shauna and he is also survived by his older sister Liz and younger brother Denis.
He is a former pupil of Ballyadams NS and Athy CBS.
This is the second tragedy to hit the late Mr Kealy’s extended family, as his mother’s brother, Dan Lalor, died last year.
The popular Timahoe man was injured in a fall and died almost two weeks later.
Steven Miller, from LaoisToday.ie, played against Liam from a young age, and later reported on many of his games.
“I remember him right back to his days playing Cumann na mBunscol with Ballyadams, underage with St Joseph’s and Laois. He was brilliant, a real leader and excellent at doing the things that a lot of lads wouldn’t like doing – winning breaking ball, making blocks and man-marking.
“But he was good on the ball too and well able to give a pass and take a score. He was a sub on the last St Joseph’s team to win a championship back in 2000 when he was only 17 and he was more or less an ever-present ever since. He was one of the first players you’d think of whenever St Joseph’s ever came up in conversation.
“He was the type of player every team loved to have – but hated to play against. Our sympathies to his wife and family, large circle of friends and the St Joseph’s club. May he rest in peace.”
SEE ALSO – Laois man tragically killed in Cork