Students offered support after Philip’s tragic death

Students offered support after Philip’s tragic death
The late Philip Leahy after captaining Ballyhooly to the Junior B County Championship last year. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

CIT is offering support to anyone who needs it following the tragic death of one of its students, Philip Leahy.

The Cork J1 student was rushed to hospital after almost drowning while swimming in the sea, off the coast of Maryland last week.

A GoFundMe page raised more than €90,000 for Philip’s medical treatment and for his family members who were described as “the cornerstones of the Ballyhooly community”.

CIT has extended its sympathies to Philip’s family and said support will be available for anyone who needs it - students, staff and those connected to CIT.

Dan Collins, CIT academic affairs and student administration representative, learned of Philip’s death on Sunday.

“It was met with great sadness by a large number of people; so many who had been hoping for the best and fearing the worst.” He said Philip was “a very popular student, who was held in high esteem by staff and students alike”.

“Philip had engaged on numerous levels at CIT and was well thought of by all who knew him.” The 22-year-old had completed his honours Business Studies degree in June. He was due to be conferred in October.

Philip’s family flew to the US to be by his side last week. After being rescued from the sea and subsequent cardiac arrest, Philip received CPR by emergency services and was rushed to Atlantic General Hospital.

Dr Collins said a member of CIT’s staff had been in daily contact with Philip’s students and friends also on the J1 programme.

On behalf of CIT he extended “the sympathy of the entire CIT community to the mother, family and friends of Philip Leahy, as well as to Philip's home community of Ballyhooly”.

Philip captained Ballyhooly GAA to its first ever county junior B football title last year. His love of life and outgoing personality were said to be among the traits that made him so popular.

A post on the Ballyhooly GAA Facebook page yesterday thanked people for supporting Philip’s GoFundMe appeal. 

“The reaction to Philip’s appeal has been overwhelming and a heartfelt thanks to all who contributed.” 

“Money collected to date will be used for medical expenses incurred, travel and other expenses that will arise in the coming days.” 

“Please keep Philip and the Leahy family in your thoughts and prayers.”

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