A CORK man who has passed away in Australia following a tragic accident has been described as a “gifted” GAA player who lived life to the fullest.
Kristian Crowley, aged 28, from Ballygarvan suffered serious head injuries last week after he fell from a height in Melbourne City.
Friends of Mr Cowley have set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for his family to travel to Australia to bring his body home and cover medical expenses. So far, the campaign has raised almost $26,000 AUS.
It is understood Mr Crowley had been living and working in Australia for the last five years. His family still live in the Ballygarvan area.
“He played with us up to about 14-years-old. He was a gifted young player. His older brother Leon also played for us for a number of years. It's very sad.” said Joe Kennefick of Ballygarvan GAA.
The club released a statement on their Facebook page in tribute to their former player.
“Ballygarvan GAA club would like to offer our sympathy to the Crowley Family on the sad passing of Kristian in Australia. Kristian was a brilliant under-age player with Ballygarvan and his loss is devastating.
“To his Mom, Dad, [brother] Leon and [sister] Karla, we offer our deepest condolences,” it read.
Ryan's Supervalu in Togher also organised a raffle to raise funds for the family of Mr Crowley.
“For those who know Kristian, everybody will agree what kind of man he was,” according to his friend Adrian.
“Salt of the earth, as generous as they come, wore his heart on his sleeve and loved life.” Mr Crowley was treated for his injuries at the Alfred hospital in Melbourne before he passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning.
While Mr Crowley received treatment, his friends started to fundraise in the hopes enough money could be raised to help his family travel overseas to be by his side. Sadly, he passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning.
They are continuing to fundraise for Mr Crowley’s family, to bring his body home as well as to cover the cost of his funeral and medical expenses.
Mr Crowley's friend Julie O'Driscoll wrote on the GoFundMe page:
“His family and friends want to thank everyone who has taken the time to donate and help. We are all more grateful than you could ever know.
“However we now need your help more than ever to bring Kristian home with his family back to Ireland.
“Any and every donation big or small will make the world of difference for his family and friends at this heartbreaking time.” Donations can be made through the campaign’s page at www.gofundme.com/kristian-crowley