Over €4,000 has been raised in little over two hours this morning, after a GoFundMe page was set to to help support the family of Brendan ‘Benny’ Reilly.
The page was set up shortly after 9am this morning with a fundraising total of €20,000 in mind. One fifth of that was raised within three hours of the launch. At time of publication, 62 people had contributed €4,175 to the fund which was set up by Brendan’s Naomh Mairtin team mate Patrick Sullivan, on behalf of club mates and and friends.
Writing on the page, the group wrote, “Teammates and friends of Benny Reilly have come together to set up this campaign to support his young family during this difficult time. Benny died tragically on his way home after leading Naomh Martins to a semi-final win over Ardee St Marys.
“Benny embodied everything positive about the GAA. A steely competitor on the pitch and a true gentleman off it – he was loved throughout the county, ” they continued. “He leaves behind him his loving wife Lisa, Saoirse (4 years), Amy (2 years) and Harry (2 months). We hope you will consider contributing to a great man’s memory.”
Benny will be laid to rest today, with his funeral taking place at The Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure and burial afterwards in Monasterboice Cemetery. The funeral is being attended by teammates, friends, opposition players and representatives from clubs all across Louth.
Brendan, 38, died suddenly on Saturday evening after falling ill shortly after playing a match for club Naomh Mairtin in Ardee. The Jocks beat Ardee St Marys 5-09 to 1-10 in the Cardinal O’Donnell Cup semi-final at Pairc Muire, with Reilly playing the entire game in the half back line. He died en route home after the game.
Speaking to ThisIsArdee.ie on Monday, Ardee St Marys manager Hugh Durrigan said, “I knew Brendan very well from my involvement with John Mitchel’s and managing vs the Martins in the last two years. It is absolutely devastating news and I just can’t believe it. He was a truly inspirational man and ticked all the boxes on and off the pitch in all walks of life. He will be sorely missed.”
Former Louth manager Paddy Clarke, Brendan’s ex-Louth teammate and friend Darren Clarke, Ardee St Marys chairman Mickey Rooney and Louth County Board chairman Des Halpenny, himself a former clubmate of Brendan’s, have been among those to pay tribute in the last number of days.
You can donate to Benny’s Memorial Fund on GoFundMe by clicking here.