The death of a ten year old girl as she was preparing to take part in a local camogie game has shocked the community of Gortnahoe-Glengoole.
Ten year old Emily Wilson collapsed while warming up for the match at the sports field in the village last Saturday morning. Paramedics arrived at the scene and tried desperately to save her life.
Emily - a fourth class pupil at Gortnahoe national school - suffered a suspected heart attack while doing her warm-up exercises before the underage game. Onlookers describe seeing her collapse “in a heap” just minutes before the start of the match at Gortnahoe-Glengoole GAA grounds at around 9.30am .
Emily was carried to the side of the pitch for CPR, and frantic efforts were made to resuscitate her and a club defibrillator was used as her distraught parents Nick and Caitriona were in attendance. She was later taken to South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel where she was pronounced dead.
Emily’s mother Caitriona Clutterbuck is a prominent poet and academic originally from Ballingarry. Both she and her English-born husband, Nick Wilson, have been living in the townsland of Clonmiclan near Gortnahoe since they got married 12 years ago. They are said to be “inconsolable with shock and grief” at the loss of their only child. They were being comforted over the weekend by friends and neighbours. It’s understood Emily did not suffer from any underlying medical conditions.
A post-morten carried out at South Tipperary General Hospital has failed to find an exact cause of death.
Counselling is being offered to pupils of different age groups across six schools in South Tipperary and Offaly, who were in attendance at the GAA pitch on the day. She was described as a ’model pupil’ by Gortnahoe school principal Derek O’Brien. A meeting of staff at Gortnahoe primary school and local priest Fr. John O’Rourke took place on Monday to prepare plans for Emily’s funeral on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. Players from the Gortnahoe Glengoole club performed a guard of honour at the removal of the ten year old girl in Urlingford on Tuesday evening. Her fellow fourth year classmates will perform a guard of honour at the funeral in Gortnahoe this morning. Emily’s remains will repose in Doyle’s funeral home in Urlingford, with Mass of the Angels taking place today, Wednesday May 8 at 11.30am, followed by burial at the Good Shepherd Cemetery.
Tributes have been flooding into Gortnahoe National School’s Facebook page.