DUBLIN, Ireland - The tight-knit community of Skerries, a small town of just over 10,000 population in Fingal County in the Dublin region lost one of its cherished sons on the weekend.
19-year old Finley Gannon, while out with friends, tripped and fell into the sea in the early hours of Saturday morning and apparently drowned. His body was recovered on Saturday afternoon from Balbriggan Harbour, Co Dublin.
Finley, a former student of Skerries Community College, an all-round sportsman who played football for Skerries Town and Rush Athletic, and who was popular among young and old, was mourned on the weekend.
"All at Skerries Town Football Club are shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic death of Skerries local boy and former player Finley Gannon. Finley had 2 spells with Skerries Town, in between which he spent a few years playing for our neighbours Rush Athletic FC," said a statement from the club released on Sunday.
"Finley was an enthusiastic footballer with a sweet left foot and as full back or winger he always gave the opposition a tough time. He had a few tricks up his sleeve and scored a few crackers in the green and white of Skerries Town. The fiery redhead always had a smile when talking football and gave his all when the white line was crossed."
"Skerries Town FC would like to extend our sympathies with Finley's parents Paddy and Cathy and his brother and sister Jack and Amy," said the football club statement.
Social media was also flooded with messages. "Where ever they are I can only imagine the banter between Finley and Oran as United take on Chelsea tomorrow night. RIP Finley," said one.
"Very very sad day! Can't even begin to understand how the family is coping with this... Knew Finley though the underage soccer in STFC. He played the year above us on Martin Tulley's team with Oren. Both lads were bright and confident young men. Every time I went to the gym Finley was there and would always stop of quick chat. Nothing too deep,..just a chat about football and what his goals were in terms of career and fitness. I find it difficult to believe he is gone and the world is a little less bright because of it. RIP," said another.
Other social media posts included:
"So terribly sad .... a cloud over Skerries"
"Fly high with the angels our cousin Finley Gannon..taken far too soon..our hearts are broken xx,"
"So sorry to here the sad news from us all here at Swords Manor F.C."
"Condolences to his family. Always had a cheeky smile at the gym. RIP
"Sincere condolences to his family lovely chap. Rest in peace young man x"
"RIP Finley my kids and especially Lucas are devastated condolences to the family who will need all the support of the community"
"You were to good for this world Finley."
"Please give your family the strength to get through this, you will be missed so much. Rest In Peace cuz."