A young man from Fermoy, Co Cork, who was paralysed from the neck down after a freak rugby accident during a match in London has passed away.
Stuart Mangan (24), a graduate of Rockwell College in Co Tipperary and University College Cork, suffered severe spinal injuries, which left him unable to breathe without the aid of a ventilator, during a rugby match on 5 April 2008.
Irish rugby legends Peter Clohessy and Mick Galwey and members of the current Munster squad joined forces with comedian Jon Kenny earlier this year for a special recording of Munster's theme song in a bid to raise funds for Stuart's 24-hour care.
Stuart was so moved by the support he and his family received, he wrote a special 'thank you' email to the parish of Fermoy last Easter. Prior to his death, Stuart had begun to use voice-recognition software enabling him to use a computer and keep in touch with the outside world via email.
In the email, Stuart said he was deeply grateful for everything that had been done to help him and his family – and said that he was now trying to adjust to his new life.
Stuart even insisted on going with his parents, Brian and Una, to the London rugby pitch where he was hurt to mark the first anniversary of the tragic accident.
"It wasn't anyone's fault. Whatever way my head and neck went, it just cracked," he said.
Stuart died on Friday from complications arising out of his injuries. Funeral arrangements have yet to be finalised.