Tributes have been paid to hurling star Paul Carey who died in a road traffic collision in Dubai yesterday.
r Carey, a brother of retired Limerick hurling legend Ciaran Carey, and an uncle to current Limerick hurling star Cian Lynch, would have celebrated his 42nd birthday in two weeks’ time.
The hurling stalwart who captained ‘the Well’ on their 18th senior hurling title in 2003, was expecting his second child with his heartbroken wife Anna, a family source said.
Family, friends, and neighbours, were rallying around Ms Carey, a native of the Philippines, and the couple’s young son Fionn, at their home in Patrickswell.
The young couple had decided to relocate home from Dubai, where they had lived for the past eight years, in time for the Christmas period.
Mr Carey, who was teaching English and Religion in Dubai, had been making last minute arrangements to finalise their full-time move back to Ireland.
The tight-knit community was in deep shock as it tried to come to terms with the awful news, and family members were trying desperately to navigate their way through the latest guidelines on travel and repatriation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The family are in contact with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Irish Embassy in the United Arab Emirates.
Colin Bell of the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust said the organisation was contacted by the family, and he pledged to provide any assistance necessary to expeditiously repatriate Mr Carey’s body home to Patrickswell for burial.
“Trying to get Paul home is the most important thing. Words can’t describe it, it’s your worst nightmare, especially when this happens overseas,” said the family source.
“Obviously his family want to be there with him, even to formally identify his body, and have any questions they may have answered.”
Paying tribute, they said: “Paul was a great guy who was full of life, he was a top class guy and loved by everybody, and a great roll model for his while family.”
Mr Carey, one of ten siblings, lifted silverware with his beloved Patrickswell, captaining the side to their 18th senior title in 2003 – a day he starred alongside his brothers Ciaran and Kevin, and, his nephew Cian, who won an All-Ireland hurling medal for Limerick in 2018, appeared as the Patrickswell club mascot.
He had also lined out for Limerick through the ranks, from underage to Under-21 to senior.
“He loved Patrickswell, he was proud as punch of the place as were his community proud of him, he loved hurling, and he loved following Limerick’s successes, he was so looking forward to the Munster Final next weekend (November 15th), and he will be a huge loss to his family and to his community,” the source added.
Chairman of Patrickswell GAA club, John McDermott, who played alongside the three Carey siblings in the 2003 County Final said the entire club’s “thoughts and prayers” were with the Carey family adding, “we’ll do everything we can to support them as they go through this tough period”.
The Carey family, he said, are an integral part of the club, with different generations having inspired many victories on the field.
“Ciaran is currently the Patrickswell senior manager, and the whole family are steeped In Patrickswell GAA, so it is devastating to even comprehend it, and it’s devastating for them,” Mr McDermott said.
“Paul was only home recently and was playing with Patrickswell juniors, he wasn’t long gone back to Dubai. His wife and child are here in Patrickswell, they had been settling in, and trying to get used to it.”
Paying tribute to his former comrade, he recalled an anecdote that is forever etched in Patrickswell GAA annals: “One of the things Paul did, which can’t be done nowadays, because you wouldn’t be allowed, is that, when he was 16 years of age he played at u-16, minor, and u-21 in the one year, he played on all the three teams at sixteen years of age, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone else that has done that, and that’s the type of person he was.”
“You couldn’t meet a tougher hurler. It just shows how strong he was, at 16 years of age he was able to play against ‘21 hurlers, no problem at all. He always gave it his all.”
A statement released by Patrickswell GAA said it was “saddened to learn of the tragic and untimely passing of Paul Carey in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), and we offer our sincere condolences to his wife Anna, his son Fionn and the extended Carey family at this difficult time.”
“Paul was a valued club member and committed player over many years. Paul captained Patrickswell to the County Championship title in 2003. His loss will be deeply felt in Patrickswell and beyond.”
“We ask that Paul is remembered in your prayers and that that his family are supported in their hour of need. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”
A Department of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman said it was “aware” of the death of an Irish man in Dubai on Friday, and was “providing consular assistance” to his family in Limerick.
Source: Irish News