Kate Moran, 20, tragically passed away on April 19 after suffering a head injury during a camogie match between her Athenry Camogie Club and Ardrahan in Co Galway on April 18.
Athenry Camogie Club, where Moran was a longtime player, organized the candlelight vigil for April 20 at Kenny Park which saw thousands of people turn out to pay their respects.
Four Roads Camogie Club, based in Co Roscommon, shared an emotional video of the congregation singing "The Fields of Athenry."
Huge crowds who travelled from all over attended Kenny Park GAA, Athenry this evening for a candlelit vigil in memory of Galway Camogie player Kate Moran and her family. The "Fields of Athenry" was sang twice and "I don't think it was ever sang more meaningfully", said Fr Benny McHale to the crowd. Tonight we realise that while sport often divides us, suffering and grief always unites us. We’re all here tonight – every single one of us – because we all feel it could have been me, it could have been my family, we never know in life.Posted by Four Roads Camogie Club on Thursday, April 21, 2022
At Wednesday night's vigil, Kate's name and number 12 were displayed and illuminated with candles and lanterns:
Truly an amazing show of support and solidarity from the people of Athenry and the people outside of the community that...Posted by Galway Bay FM on Wednesday, April 20, 2022
“The silence was deafening,” one person who attended the Wednesday night’s vigil told RTÉ. “We must have been in excess of six or seven thousand people here at a vigil. To me, that’s huge. It speaks words for what was thought of Kate and her family and Athenry Camogie Club. We are in awe, to be honest, here tonight.”
The Secretary of Athenry Camogie Club told RTÉ: “I’ll never forget the scene here tonight. The outpouring of support from every GAA community in the country has blown me away, it genuinely has.
“Tonight, to witness all these teams coming in from Galway and afar, was really - it was so, so humbling because they were here to honor the life of Katre, our member who was taken so tragically.”
Father Benny McHale, the parish priest of Athenry who also addressed the gathering, told RTÉ: “The last 48 hours - I’ve never seen such a veil of sorrow encompass a community.
“I’ve been a priest for a long time, I’ve seen lots of tragedy and brokenness, but I never saw anything like this."
Fr McHale said it’s like “a darkness came over the whole land. A darkness came over the whole parish, the community, the county, and it’s spread further apart.
“I’ve never met so many people so taken up with grief and sorrow.”
Addressing the crowd, Fr McHale remarked how Moran was just weeks away from her 21st birthday, "a short time to live, but she packed so much into it."
Reflecting on the renditions of 'The Fields of Athenry,' Fr McHale said: “I don’t think I’ve ever heard 'The Fields of Athenry' being sung so meaningfully – the idea of a ship fading into the horizon, as Kate fades into the horizon now of heaven.
“But she’s not gone from us, she’s not gone to Australia or Tasmania, we believe she is gone to a greater place – and tonight we think of the ship fading from view, but we think of Kate being with us forever because of the resurrection.”
The funeral for Kate Moran will be held this Friday, April 22 at the Church of The Sacred Heart in her hometown of Monivea, Co Galway.