Leitrim footballer Philip McGuinness dies

Leitrim senior footballer Philip McGuinness has lost his battle to survive following a head injury sustained in a club match on Saturday evening.

Philip died at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, where he was moved to after initially being treated at Sligo General Hospital.

Lining out for Mohill in Saturday's league match against Melvin Gaels, the 26-year-old forward took a blow to the head when falling on an opponent's knee.

Philip made his senior debut for Leitrim in 2003. He had also played for Leitrim in the National Hurling League and worked as an engineer in Mayo.

A statement, issued this evening, by the Leitrim County Board read: "It is with great sadness and regret that Leitrim County Board confirm the tragic and untimely passing of Philip McGuinness of Mohill GAA Club and member of the Leitrim senior panel.

"His death, as the result of an injury sustained in a club game at the weekend has left not only his family, his club and the people of Leitrim in deep shock but also the entire GAA community

"'Philly', as he was known was the ultimate team player, talented, dedicated and above all loyal. His death has had a profound effect in Leitrim GAA circles.

"However, his loss to club and county is second to the void now left in the McGuinness household of his mother Phil, brothers John and Michael and to the extended McGuinness family throughout Ireland. To all of them, we offer our sincerest condolences."

Both John and MIchael McGuinness were playing for Mohill at the time of the tragic incident in Annaduff.

Passing on his deepest sympathies, GAA President Christy Cooney said: "Philip's passing is as untimely as it is tragic and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this most difficult time.

"I know GAA members and people across the country were waiting for news on hearing of his situation and this news will be sorely felt in GAA circles, most notably in Leitrim.

"Philip made a handsome contribution to both his county and of course his club Mohill in a life full of promise that was cut tragically short.

"I extend my deepest sympathies to his immediate family and to the wide circle of friends and players he came into contact with while playing both football and hurling."

The McGuinness family is deeply rooted in Gaelic Games, and Philip's late father Michael, a highly-regarded hurler and footballer in his day, was named on the Leitrim Team of the Millennium.

Philip played a key role in Mohill's 2006 Leitrim Senior Football Championship title win, their first since 1971.

From an early age he was considered a special talent and played for Leitrim at all levels in both football and hurling, and first appeared on the senior football panel in 2003 while still in his teens.

In 2001, he was selected on the Connacht International Rules team that travelled to Australia.

In last year's Connacht SFC game against Roscommon, he kicked two points from wing forward and had become a regular for Leitrim throughout this year's National Football League.

Leitrim GAA has opened a book of condolence - http://www.leitrimgaa.ie/philly.php.

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