Tributes paid to "kind and considerate" Co Down GAA footballer Louise Baker following tragic death

Tributes have been paid to Downpatrick woman, Louise Baker who has died suddenly

A DOWNPATRICK man has told of his family's devastation following the tragic death of his "kind and considerate" daughter, who was a popular GAA footballer.

Mickey Baker told how he was "broken" following the death of his 28 year-old daughter Louise, who died on Thursday night more than a week after she was admitted to hospital.

The mother-of-one fell ill last Wednesday February 14 and was taken to the Ulster Hospital where she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.

The keen sports player, who was a senior Gaelic footballer for Russell Gaelic Union (RGU) in Downpatrick and who also played soccer for Downpatrick FC, died on Thursday night with her family by her bedside.

Mr Baker last night told how the family was still coming to terms with the sudden death of the popular shopworker who worked at Supervalu.

"She was bubbly," he said "and she was like everybody's big sister. If she knew you, she looked after you."

Mr Baker described his daughter as "talented" and spoke of her sporting achievements.

"If you make it into the senior team, there must (have) been something in her."

Describing her as a "brilliant mother" to her seven year-old daughter Rebecca he said she "couldn't do enough for her child".

"Every night after school, they went out doing activities. They were very, very close".

"Our family are just broken. We will not be complete again," he said.

"We are just devastated," he said.

Mr Baker also paid tribute to the medical team at the Ulster Hospital who had cared for Louise round the clock.

Yesterday, Russell Gaelic Union said they were "deeply saddened" by "the tragic passing" of Ms Baker.

"Louise was a very much loved and popular member of our senior team and a key player in the recent rise in fortunes of ladies football in Downpatrick," the club said in a statement.

The club had earlier this week organised an evening of prayer and reflection to show support for Ms Baker.

RGU said yesterday that "as a mark of respect ......all training this weekend has been cancelled".

Downpatrick FC also paid tributes.

"It's with total devastation that we have learnt of the tragic passing of one of our senior players - Louise Baker," it said.

"Louise was a key member of our senior ladies football team over the last number of years, every time she pulled on that Downpatrick jersey she gave a 100 per cent.

"As a mark of respect the football club has postponed all club activity on Saturday & Sunday.

Downpatrick Sports Centre yesterday closed for the day "as a mark of respect" following news of Ms Baker's death.

She is survived by her partner Peter, daughter Rebecca, parents Michael and Lorraine and siblings Conor, Kelly-Marie, Lisa, Ryan and Liam.

Requiem Mass will take place on Monday Feburary 26 with 1pm at St Patrick's Church in Downpatrick followed by burial at Struell Cemetery.

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