Former youth international footballer dies after Limerick attack
Tributes have been paid to a former Republic of Ireland junior footballer who Gardaí say died after being attacked in the city of Limerick.
The victim, locally named Alan Bourke (48) from St Mary’s Park, Limerick, was found seriously injured in Parnell Street around 10.25pm on Saturday.
Paramedics attempted to keep Bourke alive at the scene, but he was pronounced dead a short time later at Limerick University Hospital.
The street was cordoned off by the gardaí on Saturday evening and Sunday to allow a Garda crime scene unit to carry out a forensic examination of the area.
Gardaí were collecting CCTV footage from the street and local premises, and called on anyone who might have “video footage or dash cam footage” of the alleged assault to make it available to them.
Bourke, who was a talented striker for Mungret Regional FC in the 1990s, was found seriously injured a short distance from a tool and equipment store where he had previously worked as a manager.
Limerick football correspondent Mike Aherne said there had been widespread shock in the city’s district league football family: “Alan was synonymous with the glory days of Mungret Regional and was seen as one of the leading strikers in the league, from which he achieved well-deserved recognition, culminating in being selected for the Republic of Ireland youth football team.
“To be selected for his country, even at youth football level, is a hugely prestigious honor and everyone in Limerick football will remember Alan first as a goalscorer, he was a brilliant striker, may you he rest in peace.”
“He was the main man at Mungret Regional in the 1990s, a real class act, and it’s so sad what happened,” he added.
Bourke, who has several children, helped to many big wins for Mungret Regional, including winning the Munster Junior Cup final in 1994. He received his Irish cap in 1996 after helping his club to a final of the FAI junior cup the same year.
Speaking on behalf of former Bourke teammates and friends to regional club chairman Mungret, Tony O’Byrne said: “Alan was definitely an integral part of the team back then, he would have scored over 20 goals per season, he wore club number 9, he was a real goal poacher, and he was a really talented player for the club.
“He joined the club aged 17 and played as a minor for two years under Dermot Doolan and then played as a junior under Pat Irwin, and was part of Munster’s junior cup winning team in 1994 who were also FAI Cup runners-up in 1996. The team was given a civic reception by the then Mayor of Limerick, Jan O’Sullivan.
“Alan was exceptionally talented, and he is a great loss to his footballing family, may he rest in peace,” Mr O’Byrne said.
Friends of Bourke, who had spent time in Cork, said he had “fallen through hard times” and had been quite “vulnerable” in recent years.
“I’m in shock, Alan was a lovely guy, it’s a real shock that this happened,” a friend added.
Gardaí said they were “investigating all the circumstances surrounding the fatal assault” and had contacted the services of the state pathologist’s office to perform an autopsy.
“The scene is currently being preserved to allow for technical examination. The State Pathologist’s Office has been notified and an autopsy will be performed later today,” a Garda spokesperson said.
Calling for information, the spokesperson said: “Anyone who was in the Parnell Street, Lord Edward Street and Davis Street areas of Limerick last night between 10 p.m. and 10:40 p.m. who may have pictures area camera is requested to do this. available to Gardaí. Likewise, if a road user was traveling in the area and who might have camera footage (including the dash cam), they are asked to make it available to Gardaí investigators.
“Anyone with information that may be relevant to Garda’s investigation should contact Roxboro Road Garda Station on 061 214 340, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.”
“No arrests have been made at this stage, investigations are ongoing,” the spokesperson said.