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Westport stunned at sudden passing of young student

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Ian McAleer
SADLY MISSED The late Ian McAleer.

Westport stunned at sudden passing of popular student


Neill O’Neill

WESTPORT was left reeling last week when news broke of the sudden and unexpected passing of 19-year-old Ian McAleer.
A student of Computer Software Development at GMIT in Galway, Ian had met up with some friends in Galway to watch a Premier League match on Monday, December 12, when he suddenly took ill. His friends and others performed CPR before paramedics attended and they continued to work on him until he arrived at UCHG. Despite the frantic efforts of medical staff however, Ian died in the hospital. His family have stated that he had no underlying medical condition and had always been a healthy and happy young man.
A past pupil of Scoil Phádraig and Rice College in Westport, Ian was a keen sportsman and lived with his parents Paul and Tina and brothers Andrew and Stephen in Farnaught, a few miles from Westport. The family had previously lived in Fr Angelus Park in the town many years ago.
A Manchester United fan foremost, Ian had taken a shine to Tottenham Hotspur in recent years, and was also a talented gaelic football and soccer player. He won a county U-14 championship with Westport GAA Club and a Connaught Cup medal at U-16 level in soccer with Westport United.
Following repose at McGing’s Funeral Home on Thursday last, Ian was taken to St Mary’s Church for his reception ceremony and prayers. His Funeral Mass took place on Friday and was officiated at by Fr Charlie McDonnell, Adm Westport, Fr Ray Browne, a relative of the deceased, and Fr Jim Walsh, PP Kilmeena. Members of Ian’s family participated in the Mass with his uncle Mark telling the congregation that his nephew was a kind and loving boy who had turned into a young adult that had great time for everybody, and always had a smile on his face.
Present at the Mass were many of Ian’s oldest school friends and teachers from Westport, along with his classmates and lecturers from GMIT. Also represented were Westport Rugby and Gaelic clubs and Westport United, with members from each organisation forming a guard of honour. Ian was buried afterwards in Aughavale Cemetery.
He is survived by his heartbroken parents Tina and Paul, and brothers Andrew (17) and Stephen (14), grandparents, his uncles, aunts and cousins in the Browne and McAleer families, girlfriend of almost two years Caragh Ryan, neighbours, and many friends.
Ian’s family would like to take this opportunity to thank all who sympathised with them during this sad time, and also the paramedics, medical staff and others who attended to Ian during his final minutes. To their neighbours and friends who supported them last week, and to those who formed the guards of honour, the undertaker and all who attended Ian’s funeral Mass or touched his life in any way, they are eternally grateful.