Northern Ireland

Young doctor who died after collapsing at leisure centre was due to marry on Friday

Dr Sean McMahon
Dr Sean McMahon Dr Sean McMahon

A young doctor, who died after collapsing at a leisure centre in Co Armagh, was due to marry on Friday.

Dr Sean McMahon (31) was rushed to hospital after collapsing in a fitness suite at Craigavon's South Lake Leisure Centre on Tuesday evening.

The anaesthetist, pronounced dead at the hospital where he worked, Craigavon Area, was due to marry his fiancee Debbie Jameson, a nurse, in her home county of Fermanagh.

Hundreds took to social media to pay tribute to the Cullyhanna, south Armagh native, described as a "true gentleman and a "great doctor".

Ms Jameson's sister, Chloe, led the tributes: "Forever my brother in law, the smartest most caring doctor always putting others before yourself. Life is so so cruel, please watch over our Debster."

Staff at the centre rushed to his aid and performed CPR after Dr McMahon collapsed in the centre's Health and Wellbeing Suite. 

“At approximately 8.00pm yesterday evening (Tuesday) a gentleman attending the Health and Wellbeing Suite at South Lake Leisure Centre collapsed and became unresponsive," a spokesperson for Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council said.

"Staff on duty were quick to respond performing CPR until the ambulance service arrived. The gentleman was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital where he passed away.”

The young man, who went to Abbey Grammar, Newry, and Queen's University, will be buried following requiem mass at St Patrick’s Church in Cullyhanna on Sunday morning. He is survived by his parents, Charles and Frances, his fiancee Debbie, one brother and four sisters.

Dr McMahon will be buried following requiem mass at St Patrick's in Cullyhanna
Dr McMahon will be buried following requiem mass at St Patrick's in Cullyhanna Dr McMahon will be buried following requiem mass at St Patrick's in Cullyhanna

Justin McNulty, Newry and Armagh MLA, described the young man's death as "devastating news for everyone who knew him". 

"My God, how do you come to terms with that," Mr McNulty added, referring to his fiancee's loss ahead of the couple's wedding day. "My sympathies to everyone, his mother and father, other family work colleagues and community."

Southern Health and Social Care Trust described the medic as a "highly respected and valued member of the hospital staff.

“Dr Sean McMahon was a highly respected and valued member of the anaesthetic team in the Trust, working in the locality which he knew so well and had settled in," a spokesperson said.

"As a colleague and friend, the shock of Sean’s sudden passing is a great loss to all in the department. He will be sorely missed. 


Our thoughts are with his fiancée, parents, brother, sisters and wider family circle.”

Silverbridge GFC added its tribute, extending "sincere condolences to the family and friends of Sean, in particular to Sean’s sister Sarah-Louise Muckian, wife of Kevin Muckian and mother of our U6 player Ordrán Muckian"

Hundreds, including many colleagues, paid tribute and expressed sadness following Dr McMahon's sudden death.

One said: “Devastated to hear the passing of Sean. What a lovely person and fantastic doctor and colleague. Thinking of all his family and fiancé at this time.”

“A true gentleman and a talented doctor. A valued colleague of ours, he will be greatly missed! Heart goes out to Sean's family and friends," another added.

Murray Funeral Directors announced Dr Sean McMahon, formerly of Oldtown Road, Cullyhanna and Craigavon, was "the treasured son of Charles and Frances, loving fiancé of Debbie and devoted brother of Terence, Edel, Aideen (Lappin), Seárlait (Lappin) and Sarah-Louise (Muckian)." 

The body is reposing from Friday before removal for 11.30am Requiem Mass at St Patrick's Church with burial in the adjoining cemetery.

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