Tributes were pouring in this week for Brian Gubbins, the young Nenagh man who died tragically in a drowning accident in Galway last weekend.
Brian, 19, from Gortlandroe, a first-year BA in Journalism and New Media student at the University of Limerick, had gone missing following a night out in the city. His body was recovered on Sunday morning from the water near Bridge Street Bridge following a massive search that involved hundreds of people from Nenagh and UL combing the city. Nenagh Search and Rescue was also involved in the search.
Brian played in goal for the Nenagh Eire Og title County Minor winning team of 2013, and played in the same position while at school in Nenagh College.
Leading the tributes this Tuesday were Nenagh Eire Og chairman Jim Nagle who said the club was “devastated” by the news. He said it hit the young lads in the club hard.
“He was an up-and-coming hurler. We wouldn’t have won the 2013 title without him,” he said. “That 2013 team was very close-knit. He was a very popular lad who always had a hurley in his hand.”
Mr Nagle said that the club would use its Healthy Club programme to help people cope with the tragedy and would be sending out leters of support to members this week.
The club will form a guard-of-honour at Brian’s funeral this Thursday, when the cortege will walk to St Mary’s of the Rosary from MacDonagh Park.
Mary Dundon, head of Journalism and New Media at UL, described Brian as an “excellent and popular student”. She extended the sympathy of all those involved with the course to Brian’s family.
Former Nenagh College principal Michael McNulty said Brian was “quiet, friendly, well-mannered and a gentleman. He was a good student and was always focused on what he had to do.”
Among the tributes from Brian’s friends on Facebook was one that described him as “a top class person who was honourable to a fault, worked hard to realise his potential and was prepared to stand up for his friends”.
Sinn Fein councillor Seamie Morris described Brian as one of one of Nenagh Eire Og’s brightest prospects. “The whole town is unified in grief. He was a lovely lad from a well-respected family and he had a big smile for everybody he met.”
Environment Minister Alan Kelly said his thoughts and prayers were with the Gubbins family.
Brian is survived by his father Jim; mother Nora; brother Kevin and sister Michelle; granny Mai, uncles, aunts, grandaunt Sr Celestine; cousins, relatives, teammates, classmates, neighbours and a wide circle of friends.
His body is reposing this Wednesday at Ryan’s Funeral Home, Nenagh, from 4pm until 8pm. Funeral arriving on Thursday to St Mary of the Rosary Church for Requiem Mass at 1pm, followed by burial in Lisboney Cemetery. Family flowers only, donations, if desired, to Nenagh Ormond Search and Rescue.