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26th Mar 2024

Family hit with second tragedy as talented GAA player, 26, dies in Australia

Patrick McCarry


‘Our family feels a sense of comfort to know you are both united again.’

The Branagan family from County Down has been left reeling after the death of a talented, young GAA player in Australia.

The body of Lorcán Branagan was recovered in New South Wales on Monday (March 25). He was reported to police at Mascot Police Station early on Sunday evening. A statement from Sydney Police reads:

‘Officers attached to Sydney City Police Area Command commenced inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

‘The man was last seen near a licensed premises at Barangaroo about 3.30am on Sunday. Following extensive inquiries and a multi-agency search with assistance from Marine Area Command and PolAir, the body of a man was located in the water at about 12.45pm on Monday, March 25.

‘While the body is yet to be formally identified, it is believed to be that of the 26-year-old man. A report will be prepared for the information of the coroner.’

The passing of Lorcán Branagan comes six years after his older brother Peárce died from a cardiac seizure, aged only 23. Both brothers played for Clonduff GAC, with Lorcán described as having a tremendous ‘devotion to hurly and football’.

‘He wowed everyone by his sheer skill and dedication’

The club has since paid tribute to Lorcán Branagan, as has his bereft sister Caitlín. In a tribute to her brother, she wrote:

‘It breaks my heart how you were taken in such tragic circumstances and my heart goes out to his girlfriend Shona and all our cousins who are currently out in Australia. Your strength is commendable.

‘Lorcán truly lived his life to the fullest. Losing our brother Peárce in 2018 was a difficult time for our entire family circle, but especially for our Lorcán. Him and Peárce were inseparable. They had a bond that was like no other and a love for one another that was indescribable.

‘Lorcán showed incredible strength during this time and the way he composed himself throughout was truly admirable to all. Our family feels a sense of comfort to know you are both united again.’

‘Lorcán, as many know, was a phenomenal athlete who will be sorely missed by Clonduff,’ Caitlín continued.

‘His devotion to hurly and football was tremendous. He wowed everyone by his sheer skill and dedication to his fitness. He was a player that all coaches dream of having on their team.’

Young Ireland GAA posted a heartfelt tribute on Facebook. The Syndey GAA club stated, ‘Since joining our club this football season, Lorcán has made an indelible impression both on and off the pitch. His talent, enthusiasm, and kindness endeared him to all who had the privilege of knowing him.

‘Lorcán’s exceptional performance in our internal tournament, The Railway Cup, showcased his skill and unwavering commitment as a defender. Beyond his sporting abilities, Lorcán was admired for his warmth and friendly disposition, swiftly becoming a beloved figure within our club.

‘Our thoughts and condolences are extended to his father Tony, mother Terri, brother Padráig, sister Caitlín, her partner and his niece Ríona partner Shona, as well as to his relatives, friends, teammates in Australia, and his home club Clonduff. We also extend our sympathies to anyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.’

In a statement, Clonduff GAC also paid tribute to the 26-year-old. ‘A very talented dual player for our club,’ they wrote, ‘Lorcán left for a winter in Australia in November 2023 and was due to return home for club playing duty in the coming weeks.

‘Our club and community are absolutely devastated at the loss of a wonderful, young gentleman who represented our club with great distinction. It is even more difficult to comprehend this tragic news, given the untimely passing of Lorcán’s older brother Peárce, our senior hurler, in June 2018.’

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