Ailish Sheehan has died following a fall in Poznan, Poland at the World University Championships, reports the Irish Times.
Limerick native Sheehan was out celebrating with her team-mates in Ponzan after taking a bronze medal with the British women’s four at the World University Championships in Poland.
Lee Boucher, the team British team manager in Poznan, said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that I have to report that within the last hour our teammate Ailish has passed away in hospital in Poznan surrounded by her family. Our thoughts at this time are with all of her family and friends.
“Like her performances on the water, Ailish gave everything right until the very end but unfortunately she was unable to win this battle. Ailish’s family take comfort in knowing that she didn’t suffer and that she was happy in her final moments.”
President Higgins has led the tributes on behalf of the Irish people, saying: “It is with great sadness that I have learnt of the death of Ailish Sheehan.
“A talented rower and student of design, her loss will be felt acutely by her team mates and colleagues. This is a cruel blow for all those who were so were impressed by her rowing success. As President of Ireland, I would like to extend my sympathy to her family, colleagues and friends,” he added.
Limerick mayor Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon has expressed his deepest sympathies to the family of Ms Sheehan, saying: “I would like to offer my condolences and the condolences of the people of Limerick city and county to Ailish’s parents John and Catherine and her sisters Niamh and Áine. It was with great sadness that I learned of her death.
“To lose a child is heartbreaking, but to lose them in such tragic circumstances is unimaginable. Ailish was a remarkable young woman and athlete in the prime of her life. She is going to be sadly missed, not just by her family, but by her friends and rowing colleagues in Limerick and Britain as well.
“As a mark of respect for Ailish, I have asked for the Irish flag to be flown at half mast outside Limerick City and County Council’s offices in Merchant’s Quay on Monday.”