Community united in grief at funeral of Dillon Quirke

St John the Baptist Church in Clonoulty was overflowing this lunchtime as hundreds turned out to bid farewell to Dillon Quirke.

The local community and the GAA family have been coming to terms with the tragic death of the 24 year old hurling star after he took ill during a game with his club Clonoulty Rossmore in Semple Stadium on Friday night.

The church was full since early this morning.

A number of well known members of the GAA community were there to support the Quirke family and show their solidarity with a community deep in grief.

President of the GAA Larry McCarthy along with representatives from Munster GAA and the Kilruane MacDonaghs players who were he was playing against on Friday were in attendance.

The President and Taoiseach were represented while MEP Sean Kelly was also there to pay his respects, along with former Irish soccer player Niall Quinn

A guard of honour was held as the coffin was walked from his club to the church with the Tipp Senior Hurling team outside the pitch and the juvenile club players lining the path.

As the ceremony began “In the Arms of an Angel” was sung with Parish Priest Tom Hearne asking people to let the family have this time to grieve.

The first port of call was an offertory procession of gifts representing his life

A Hurley, his trademark red helmet, and his lucky pants all presented to symbolise the life of Dillon Quirke.

Father Tom Hearne told the hundreds in the congregation that there are many questions but no answers as to why someone so young was taken so soon.

The prayers of the faithful offered thanks to all those who helped Dillon on Friday night, with reminders that people should “laugh, cry and listen” in the coming weeks.

During the mass Dillon’s sister Shannon recited a poem written by his good friend Seanie Nally.

“Six foot two
Eyes of blue
A smile for me
And one for you too

You hailed from Clonoulty
You oozed green and gold
All the fans in the stand
Watched your talent unfold

The Dan Breen final
You scored two from the line
The news got around
Young Quirke is sublime

Tipp managers got talking
A star has been found
Get him into the Stadium
No time to mess around

You excelled at Minor
And Under 21
But you’ve made it to Senior
There’s more to be won

You took on the Deise
Ye ran riot in the League
You scored from all angles
We cheered with intrigue

Number 5 was your spot
You stood tall at wing-back
King of the skies
Deadly in attack

The field was your stage Dillon
And you’re the main actor
We all love being around you
Sharing the laughs and the banter

We’ll never forget the days we spent on the boat
With your cheeky Quirke grin
So innocently we’d float

So much left unsaid
So many seas to explore
But now you’ll grace heaven
A young age of 24

No time for more hurling
No time for goodbye
You’ve gone to Our Lord
And only He knows why

With a smile on your face
And pride in your chest
To the throne of heaven you’ll go
Wearing the Tipp crest

Forever in our hearts
Your fame and your glory
Dillon Quirke is the name
Remember the story.”