HEARTBREAK STUART LOSES BATTLE FOR LIFE
A book of condolences has been opened in Fermoy’s Town Hall as the community prepares for the funeral of local man Stuart Mangan, who passed away last Friday, August 7, aged 26. Hundreds of mourners attended a special Mass for Stuart on Tuesday at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Kensington, London.
His funeral will be held in St Patrick’s Church in Fermoy this Friday, August 14 at 12pm. Stuart, from Cullenagh, near Fermoy Golf Club, died following complications arising from a spinal injury he suffered in London in April 2008.
The C-1 spinal fracture, described by doctors as the worst injury that can happen in sport, occurred when Stuart’s third vertebrae went over his fourth while playing rugby for his club Hammersmith & Fulham. The injury completely paralysed Stuart from the neck down.
Last Thursday evening Stuart was brought to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington following respiratory problems. He passed away the next day with his family by his bedside. It has been revealed that Stuart has instructed that his organs be donated.
Tributes have poured in for the UCC graduate who became the focus of a massive fundraising effort in the community of Fermoy and beyond.
A former pupil of St Colman’s College Fermoy, this week school principal Dermot Coakley recalled Stuart’s recent visit to the school during which he spoke to pupils about his injury.
“We are all genuinely so sad at the news of Stuart’s passing,” Mr Coakley told The Avondhu, “He visited us in the school last June and it was great to see him again.”
“He seemed so happy to be revisiting his old haunts and was so full of energy, he had such a positive attitude. One couldn’t help but be inspired by that positive nature. I’ll also remember that from his time as a pupil here in the school. He was full of energy then too, and was bright, cheerful and above all positive always,” he added. Mayor of Fermoy Noel McCarthy also paid tribute to Stuart.
“The sympathy of the people of Fermoy are with the Mangan family at this time,” Cllr McCarthy said.
As Mayor I was very sad to hear that Stuart, who was a popular man in this community, had passed away. This community rallied around him after his injury and did what they could for him. There were walks, quizzes, head shaves, golf classics and all sorts of fundraisers organised by the people of Fermoy for Stuart. His attitude was an inspiration for everyone; despite his injury he tried to make the best of life,” Cllr McCarthy added.
Stuart sat his Leaving Cert at Rockwell College in Co Tipperary before graduating with a degree in Law from UCC. He then went on to receive a Masters in European Business at Ecole Superieure de Commerce in Paris. He was given a job on the trading floor of BNP Paribas in London, where he joined Hammersmith & Fulham Rugby Club.
After his accident and subsequent discharge from hospital Stuart moved to a specially modified apartment in West London and required constant round the clock care. Keen to lead as normal a life as possible, Stuart used voice recognition software that enabled him to use a computer and, up to his death was working with a research team from CASL, a department of UCD to find ways to improve his life through the use of computers.
The Mangan family have asked that in lieu of flowers, donations would be made to the IRFU Charitable Trust, the RFU Injured Players Foundation or Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, London.
To Stuart’s parents Brian and Una, brothers of Keith, John and Barry and his extended family and friends, The Avondhu extends its deepest condolences.
Thursday 13th August 6:42pm