An uncle of Tipperary hurler Dillon Quirke has said that the 24-year-old “lived and died to throw”.
Elon died at Tipperary University Hospital last evening after falling for 28 minutes in a match between his club Clonaulti-Rossmore and Kilruen McDonagh.
He was taken to hospital by ambulance after being treated by medical staff in the game but sadly passed away.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent, his uncle, Andrew Friday, president of Clonaulty-Rossmore, wept as he paid tribute to his nephew.
“Dylan was the heart and soul of our club. As captain of the senior team, he was our prime inspiration.
“As a man he was a perfect gentleman and had the absolute dream of what any young man should be.
“It was also his successful year in the game. He was coming in his time as a player at a club and county level. We were building a club around him for the next ten or 15 years,” he said.
“As a family we are all broken hearted and devastated. He was an outstanding young man who lived and died to be thrown.”
He also paid tribute to those who came to his aid after Dylan’s fall.
“I have to pay tribute to the compassion shown by the team we were playing against yesterday. When this happened, the player marking him put Dillon in the recovery position. He tried to take care of her as much as he could.
“And for those 20 minutes that Dillon played [before he collapsed] He was absolutely excellent. He was the leader of the team.
“He had two sisters, Shannon and Kelly. His mother and father have lost their only son,” said Mr. Friday.
President Michael D. Higgins paid tribute to Dillon nationwide, saying: “It is an irreparable loss not only to his family and friends but to the entire community to which he was making such a contribution.”
Taoiseach Michael Martin said he was “shocked and saddened by the passing of Dillon Quirke”.
Dillon’s untimely demise has shocked the GAA community and several prominent sports personalities have paid tribute to the talented inter-county star.
GAA President Larry McCarthy also expressed his sympathies to Dillon’s family and friends. He said: “The GAA community is deeply shocked by the tragic loss of Dylan, who had already achieved so much in his young life.
“He was a young man in his prime with so much potential and promise and on behalf of the GAA family I want to extend my sympathies to Dylan’s parents, Dan and Hazel, and their sisters, Shannon and Kelly, for what unimaginably difficult times.”
“My deepest condolences to all his family, friends, colleagues and the entire Tipperary community,” he said.
Former Tipperary hurler and journalist Shane Stapleton said: “It’s impossible to get one’s heads up about the tragedy that happened at Tipperary this evening. RIP Dillon Quirke. Lovely lad, whom I interviewed after scoring 0-4 v Waterford in the 2020 League When he said: ‘I’ve waited a lifetime for this, it’s like a dream come true’. Took too soon,” Shane said.
Killruen McDonagh, the club Dillon faced on Friday night, said its members were devastated by his death.
“Everyone at Kilruen McDonagh’s Club is devastated at the tragic passing of Dylan Quirke. Sympathy to Dylan’s family and @ClonRossGAA. God bless and comfort his family and friends. No words.”
GAA media personality Buff Egan said Dylan’s death was “heartbreaking”.
“Heartbroken to hear about the death of Clonaulti and Tipperary Senior Hurler Dillon Quirke, who collapsed during a Tipperary SHC game with his club this evening. Sadly, a young 24-year-old with his entire life in front of him Sadly he has left this world. Rest in peace Dillon,” he said.
Former Tipper bowler Shane McGrath said Tipperary’s sporting community is “numb” following Dillon’s death.
“Sad news of the passing of Dillon Quirke. The sports community is numb at Tip. A brilliant talent who only kept getting better and better for the club and county. All thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at @ClonRossGAA. Dillon For the bed of heaven “.
The Tipperary County Board also paid tribute to Dillon and as a mark of respect, all GAA games scheduled for this weekend in Tipperary have been postponed.
“Tipperary GAA extends its heartfelt and sincere sympathy to Dan, Hazel, Shannon, Kelly and the extended Quirke family. Also to the Clonoulty Rossmore GAA Club and their teammates on the sad and tragic passing of Clonoulty Rossmore and Tipperary hurler Dillon Quirke.
“Dylan fell ill during the County Senior Hurling Championship game on Friday evening between Clonaulti Rossmore and Kilruen McDonagh at Semple Stadium and was taken to Tipperary University Hospital in Clonmel, where he passed away. Tipperary GAA would like to thank all those who did. Attended Dillon and Tipperary University Hospital at Semple Stadium this evening.
“In honor of Dillon, Tipperary GAA has canceled all games scheduled for this weekend’s County Hurling Championships,” Tipperary GAA PRO Jonathan Cullen said in a statement.
Munster GAA president Gere Ryan said that Dylan was an “outstanding player” who “embodied everything he demonstrated in the sport of skill, courage and sportsmanship” and who had received “many accolades throughout his brief career”. Had won
RTÉ Sport presenter Jackie Hurley described Dylan’s death as “too young to be taken too soon”.
Dozens of GAA clubs and organizations and thousands of supporters online expressed their condolences as the country grapples with the loss of a young bowler who has a bright future.