It may be early next week before the remains of 24-year-old Tomás Maguire are returned to his native Ardara, following his death in a road crash on Tuesday in Australia.
His body was expected to be returned to Perth for a post mortem last night.
Meanwhile the Department of Foreign Affairs continues to provide consular assistance to the Maguire family, as efforts continue to liaise with local authorities to repatriate the deceased.
The young man’s death, following a tragic road crash in Western Australia, has generated an unprecedented outpouring of raw emotion and terrible sadness throughout the county.
Deceased from Glenview Park in Ardara left behind a promising football career, having already sparkled on the GAA fields at underage level. A former pupil of St. Columba’s Comprehensive School, Glenties, he was invited last year by county GAA manager Jim McGuinness to join the senior panel and lined out for his native parish in the 2011 senior championship.
Local Australian police reported that the Holden Rodeo pick-up truck which Mr. Maguire was driving rolled over near Wickepin, about 200km south-east of Perth, around 8am local time on Tuesday morning. Authorities there are continuing to investigate the circumstances behind the tragedy, while ambulance crews reported that the Donegal man was pronounced dead at the scene. Initial reports also suggested that it had the tragic hallmarks of a single vehicle “roll over”.
The tragic death has been compounded as the community of Ardara only buried his cousin, Martina Maguire, aged 16, in January, after her long and brave battle against cancer.
One of his mentors right throughout his underage career was John McConnell, a former Chairman of the Donegal GAA county board.
“Having coached Tomás from the first time he landed down in Kentucky as an 8-year-old until he left the Minor ranks, it’s hard to fathom that the wee buck with the cheeky grin and the heart of a lion is no longer with us. We are just heartbroken,” he said.
Stephen McCahill Chairman of Ardara GAA club, said it was a huge local tragedy, following on from what had been a great weekend with the Ardara Melting Pot Festival.
“He was part of the great underage teams that came through John McConnell. He needed little training, was a great reader of the game and was naturally fit. He was in the mode of Karl Lacey and there was no doubting that he had the talent to become an established county player, if he had wanted,” he said.
“But there was much more to Tomás than just football. He was universally liked and his presence always was a source of good humour and banter. He was hugely popular and had a rougish wit that made him very endearing. He was a genuine likeable guy. Quite simply, he is a great talent lost to us all.”
Deceased is survived by his parents Eunan and Eileen, brothers Eunan Jr and Daryl, sisters Tara and Claire and a wide circle of family and friends to whom deepest sympathy is extended.