Dillon Quirke was remembered as a "true legend" and "shining star" at his funeral mass this afternoon.
Thousands attended the talented young hurler's funeral mass at the Church of St. John the Baptist, Clonoulty, celebrated by local Parish Priest Fr. Thomas Hearne.
A guard of honour was formed outside the church by the Tipperary senior hurling panel, the senior team and juvenile teams of Clonoulty-Rossmore and by Kilruane MacDonaghs.
#WATCH The funeral of Tipperary hurler Dillon Quirke has been hearing warm tributes to the 24-year-old
He took ill while playing for his club in a match at Semple Stadium last week and later died in hospital @ericgclarke reports ⤵️#VMNews pic.twitter.com/Q1A2AmCwwh
— Virgin Media News (@VirginMediaNews) August 9, 2022
In his eulogy, Dillon's father Dan spoke affectionately of his son describing him as "our everything."
"To my beautiful son and best friend, thank you for all the memories. On the pitch you were a hero but off the pitch you were our everything.
"He came into this world a fighter, born prematurely after a terrible car accident, but in Coolmore terms, by god he left a champion.
"We will miss you forever Dillon, a true legend."
His sister Shannon bravely read out a heartbreaking poem written by a friend of Dillon's, Seanie Nally from the Holycross Ballycahill club.
"Forever in our hearts, your fame and your glory. Dillon Quirke is the name, remember the story," read the last two lines of the poem.
As Dillon Quirke was laid to rest today, Holycross Ballycahill player and close friend Seanie Nally wrote a touching tribute to Dillion through poem.
We’d like to share this as a memento to remember a wonderful young man.
Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam. 💚💛 pic.twitter.com/QmydQJohbK
— Tipperary GAA (@TipperaryGAA) August 9, 2022
Dillon Quirke remembered as "perfect gentleman"
Dillon's uncle and chairman of Clonoulty-Rossmore Andrew Fryday remembered his nephew as a "shining star".
"He was such a lovely, lovely fella, a perfect gentleman. Any mother or father would have been lucky to have him as their son."
Fryday spoke of how Dillon was looking forward to hopefully being part of the Tipperary senior panel in 2023 under Liam Cahill. He also mentioned his nephew's work ethic and drive to succeed, similar to his uncle Tipp legend Declan Ryan.
"He always aspired to reach the heights of his father and his hero, his uncle Declan. In doing that he tried to do everything right that he could from his diet, to minding himself, to the work he put in, to having himself in good shape.
"As Dillon’s uncle and chairman of the club, if there’s anything from our tragedy that I’d like to ask his teammates in Clonoulty-Rossmore and his teammates in Tippearary is that we put Dillon’s inspiration that he carried into our teams and into our clubs and see if we can bring further honour and glory to out clubs and great county."
Speaking poignantly to Dillon's teammates he told them:
"Never be afraid to talk, never be afraid to cry, never be afraid to show your emotions, by talking to each other and staying in touch we will get there but this will take some time to happen."
"Last Friday evening Dillon made a triumphant exit from his life, doing what he loved with his teammates, the great friends he loved so much, in front of the people he cherished the most - his family.
"What an inspiring hero he was to us both on and off the field.
"Dillon, until we meet again go gently into the good night and shine brightly."
Fr. Hearne gave a moving homily where he described the community as "stunned".
"When the news spread last Friday night of Dillon's sudden and untimely death it really seems like our parish community here in Clonoulty-Rossmore has been frozen in time," he said.
"There has been such a huge outpouring of sadness and a huge outpouring of grief not just here in our local community but also in our surrounding parishes, throughout the country and further afield.
"People are really stunned - we are all finding is very difficult to believe that this has really happened.
John O'Keefe, a Clonoulty-Rossmore teammate of Dillon, spoke to the Irish Independent about the "devastation" the community was feeling.
“What happened the soccer player Christian Eriksen was going through my head and I was thinking hopefully that Dillon mightn’t be able to play this year, but all going well he’ll be back down on the pitch Tuesday night and he’ll be around the place,” he said.
“Then we got the phone call and it was just complete devastation at that stage.
“I’m glad no one heard that news by themselves because it was a devastating blow. Not in your wildest dreams would you think that something like that could happen.”
Amongst those in attendance included Aide de Camp to the President Comdt Deirdre Newell, Aide de Camp to An Taoiseach Claire Mortimer, President of the GAA Larry McCarthy, members of the Tipperary GAA county board, Semple Stadium management, the Munster GAA council and the GPA.
Dillon is survived by his parents Dan and Hazel, sisters Shannon and Kellie, grandmother, uncles, aunts, cousins, relatives, team mates and many friends.
May he rest in peace.