On Friday, a super fit hurler from Tipperary County, Ireland, died unexpectedly after collapsing during a county senior championship game.
Dillon Quirke, 24, collapsed right before halftime, and he had to be helped off the field at Semple Stadium in Thurles.
The referee and Tipperary GAA have called off the game following the incident.
After being transported from the field on a stretcher, he eventually died suddenly at Tipperary University Hospital in Clonmel.
Although the exact cause of death remains unknown, Mr. Quirke reportedly felt ill the night during the championship game between Clonoulty Rossmore and Kilruane MacDonaghs, according to a statement.
In a statement, “Tipperary GAA extends its deepest and most sincere condolences to Dan, Hazel, Shannon, Kellie, and the extended Quirke family. Also, to the Clonoulty Rossmore GAA Club and his teammates for the sad and tragic passing of Clonoulty Rossmore and Tipperary hurler Dillon Quirke.”
“Dillon fell ill during Friday night’s senior county hurling championship game between Clonoulty Rossmore and Kilruane MacDonaghs at Semple Stadium and was taken to Tipperary University Hospital in Clonmel where he passed away,” it said.
“The Tipperary GAA would like to thank everyone who attended Dillon at Semple Stadium and Tipperary University Hospital tonight. Out of respect to Dillon, the Tipperary GAA has canceled all games taking place at the County Hurling Championship this weekend,” the statement concluded.
— Tipperary GAA (@TipperaryGAA) August 7, 2022
The passing of Quirke has been met with widespread sadness and tributes from friends, colleagues, and politicians.
In a tweet, the President of Ireland offered his condolences, “As President of Ireland, I wish to express my deepest sympathies on the passing of Dillon Quirke. This is an inestimable loss not only to his family and friends but to his entire community to which he was making such a contribution. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”
Deputy Micheál Martin the Taoiseach (Prime Minister of Ireland) paid his respect.
“Shocked and saddened by the passing of Dillon Quirke. My deepest sympathies to all his family, friends, his teammates, and all the community in Tipperary,” he wrote.
The former Tipperary and Clonoulty/Rossmore hurler Timmy Hammersley also offered his condolences.
“The big thing for me with Dillon is that innocence he had, the true love of playing, the true love of the club,” said Hammersley per Independent. “It really came across. We trained together, we went to the gym together, we ran together, we did ball wall sessions together, along with others, there was a core group that trained really hard and Dillon was one of them.
“We can exaggerate these things when someone passes on, but there is no exaggeration in this case. He was a gentle soul, a gentle giant who really did treat people very well, no matter who they were. And I think it’s because of that attitude that he was so good at sport as well.”
All games today and tomorrow will observe a moment of silence in memory of Dillon Quirke of Tipperary.
As has been the practice across GAA fields all over the country this weekend, a poignant minute silence was observed here in @eireogcork ,prior to throw in @OfficialCorkGAA SAHC, R2 game @CourceysGAA 🆚 @FrONeillsGAA n memory of Dillon Quirke (24) who passed away suddenly on Fri pic.twitter.com/dHA0gd0BnN
— Paudie Palmer (@PaudieP) August 7, 2022
— Michael McMullan (@malmcmullan) August 7, 2022
A minutes silence followed by applause is observed here for Dillon Quirke @CrokePark prior to the @OfficialCamogie All Ireland Senior Final @CorkCamogie @KilkennyCamogie
Thoughts and prayers with his family and the @TipperaryGAA community #dillonquirke #GoTogether pic.twitter.com/9w98FYQdbp
— Joe Seward (@JoeSeward1) August 7, 2022
The funeral of hurler Dillon Quirke is to take place on Tuesday according to his obituary.