A GAA club paid tribute to former footballer, pitcher and handball player Gary Reilly, tragically found dead in Los Angeles.
r Reilly was found after missing for more than a week while traveling in Southern California.
Gary Reilly (28), from Ballinlough, Co Meath, was last seen on a midnight bus on May 5 traveling from Bakersfield to Los Angeles, a two-hour journey.
Friends knew he had been to Santa Clarita on the outskirts of Los Angeles before getting off the bus, but he had not been seen or heard from since.
A Los Angeles coroner’s report says Mr Reilly died on May 5. The circumstances of his death are not yet known.
Meanwhile, Mr Reilly’s former GAA club in Ballinlough has honored him not only as a talented sportsman, but also as a sweet, fun and popular young man who was “one of the nicest gentlemen you can to meet”.
In a post on Ballinlough GAA’s Facebook today, a club member wrote: ‘I’ve grown tired of writing these things but sometimes life is the cruellest game. I often wonder how the young people of Crossakiel and the surrounding area manage to pick themselves up and carry on after all the beatings they have received in recent years, and now we are on our knees again.
“Gary Reilly was one of the kindest gentlemen you could ever meet, the only son of wonderful parents and the adoring brother and uncle of his sister Suzanna and her children.
“Gary’s sporting life followed the same path as those we lost far too early, excelling in youth football, hurling and handball before moving to adult level and making his mark there too.
“He was part of the victorious U-17 Ballinlough team that won the Division 4 title in 2011 and again for St. Oliver when they claimed an MFC in 2012, before regularly lining up for Lough at the adult level, providing an aerial presence in midfield and propelling our U-21 side to their 2014 final.
“He was also pivotal in the side that reached the Junior D finals of the same year where they narrowly lost to Clann na nGael, but he was to taste success when he was instrumental in the team that won B’League honors in 2017.
“He was also expected to make his mark in the 2018 Intermediate Championship when he regularly started or came off the bench for Ballinlough, and his point shortly after being featured in the 2018 IFC semi-final was the knock Thumbs up for our lads watching Oldcastle. and reserve their place for the county final.
“Gary was also known as a talented bowler who lined up at the back of the U-21 Championship winning team Kilskyre/Moylagh in 2013 and was part of the IHC team that reached the semi-finals the same year. This team went even further in 2014 with Gary on the back wing or in the front corner throughout the campaign, but they fell short as Dunderry held on to win by three points in the last county day.
“Handball was another love of Gary, and how could it not be so with his father and uncles who have all helped build, develop and support the Crossakiel Handball Club since its inception, and Gary has maintained the fine tradition of Reilly taking to the pitch to represent the club throughout his teenage years,” the post read.
“A tall, strong, imposing figure on the pitch belied the gentle, fun-loving man that Gary was. strangers than with friends, of whom he had many.
“There are no words to describe the grief these friends and family are feeling at this desperately sad time and we can only pray that somehow we will rise from our knees again. , and in time we will be able to remember and cherish all the good times we had with Gary.
“He’s gone over the top now in the arms of his pals Ricky & Jimmy and I’m sure his uncle Hugh Sheen will have a pint of black stuff waiting for him too.
“Rest in peace Gary, you will be forever remembered and we will all be sorely missed. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.