A sad farewell to Patrick

The funeral of 10-year-old Patrick Breen, who collapsed while playing Gaelic football, will be held today.

Children from Envagh Primary School – where Patrick was one of only 25 pupils – are expected to sing during a Requiem Mass at St Patrick's Church in Drumquin.

Members of the minor and under 12's Michael Cusack's sides will form a guard of honour for their team-mate at the church.

The football-mad youngster from Dregish, near Omagh, could not be revived after he collapsed during a training session with the under-12's team on Tuesday evening.

A defibrillator was used to no avail and Patrick was pronounced dead at the scene.

Following a post mortem, the Coroner's Office said the schoolboy had died of "hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy", a disease of the heart muscle.

His death has prompted calls from Portstewart man, John Lundy, who lost his 19-year-old son to Sudden Death Syndrome eight years ago, to call for Health Minister Michael McGimpsey to introduce statutory screening for the condition.

Mr Lundy – whose son died after playing a football match – is Northern Ireland spokesman for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

He said: "I think the sudden death of this wee boy in Tryone brought sudden heart death to the fore again.

"It also brought what we went through and what his parents are going through back again. His parents will be going through terrible, terrible pain and I know that their lives will have totally changed forever. I want to prevent other families from going through this by getting their children checked out."

For further information at CRY and to book a screening, log on to http://www.c-r-y.org