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Westmeath in shock at death of Castlepollard star Devine

Wednesday, 15th February, 2017 2:37pm

Westmeath in shock at death of Castlepollard star Devine

Donal Devine, lining out for Westmeath's senior hurlers in 2002.

The GAA community in Westmeath is in shock after learning of the sudden death of Castlepollard and former Lake County hurler, Donal Devine.

Devine (40) took ill last night (Tuesday) following a training session with his beloved club, and sadly passed away.

The veteran hurler - one of several brothers who were mainstays of Castlepollard sides during the 1990s and 2000s - won four senior hurling titles with his club (1995, 1997, 2003 and 2005).

His nephew is current Westmeath star, Allan Devine, and his brother, Alfie, is a respected inter-county hurling referee.

Devine also represented Westmeath in inter-county hurling at all levels, and was a member of the Lake County panel which won the inaugural Christy Ring Cup in 2005.

"He was an incredible influence, as a player and club officer - particularly on young people coming up through the ranks of the club," said Donie Cassidy, president of Castlepollard Hurling Club.

"Donal was a gentleman to his fingertips, a credit to his family, his wife Deirdre and their two young children.

"He was born on the Pakenhamhall Road, the road where Castlepollard Hurling Club has been for most of its time. When he walked out the door, the nearest property to him was the hurling field, and he gave morning, night and day to the club."

Mr Cassidy recalled Devine's role in Castlepollard's "memorable" minor hurling championship success in 1991.

"He won many underage medals, and of course went on to win four senior medals with the club.

"When we won the senior championship against Clonkill in 2003, Donal was the one who stopped the sliothar from going out over the sideline, passed to his brother Ollie who in turn passed to Darren McCormack, who scored a dramatic winning goal.

"Every time you met 'the Duck' he had a smile on his face. He is a severe loss to the community," Mr Cassidy concluded.

Westmeath GAA posted on Facebook this morning: "Westmeath GAA is today mourning the loss of Donal Devine Castlepollard who sadly passed away last night.

"A true Castlepollard Gael, Donal gave a lifetime of service to the club and his passing has been a massive shock to his family, friends and the wider GAA community.

"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam."

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