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Shane Mulholland: GAA President pays tribute to hurler killed in car crash

The Shane Mulholland Foundation was set up following the death of the hurler and coach at the age of 27 in April last year

GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghaíl has spoken of how the association could not exist without the dedication of volunteers such as hurler and coach Shane Mulholland, who died in a car crash last year.

Mr O Fearghaíl was addressing a fundraiser for the Shane Mulholland Foundation in Loughgiel, where he grew up and was first introduced to hurling.

After moving to Derrylin, Co Fermanagh with his wife Vanessa, the father-of-one had begun his dream job as a development coach for Cavan GAA shortly before the fatal collision in April 2015.

Mr Mulholland, who was just 27, had also become involved in coaching Lisbellaw under-14s and under-16s.

Mr O Fearghail said: "Those of you lucky enough to have known him will testify that Shane, like the sport that he was so passionate about, was equally special and unique.

"Without the passion of people like Shane Mulholland the GAA cannot exist because, for all of us, we trace our DNA as GAA people back to where it all began and the work that was done at juvenile level in clubs where someone invested time in us to teach us how to kick a ball from our hands or how to grip a hurley."

The Shane Mulholland Foundation aims to support the development of hurling at underage level in clubs.

Shane's mother, Maria Mulholland, told The Irish News up to £20,000 has been raised since the launch of the foundation in October last year.

"We have been able to help Loughgiel under-14s with kit bags, we presented the two primary schools in Loughgiel with hoodies and made a donation to Lisbellaw to enable them to buy equipment for their underage hurlers.

"We were also able to fund the cost of sending children to a hurling development camp in August in Cavan."

The foundation hopes to hold its next fundraiser in Swanlinbar in Co Cavan in November, and Mrs Mulholland said that the charity was on the look-out for new volunteers and fundraising ideas.

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