A community in South Kilkenny is grieving the death of a talented young sportsman. Eugene Aylward (22) died after the car he was driving left the road and struck a wall at Knockwilliam outside Ballyhale in the early hours of Saturday morning. He will arrive for Requiem Mass at 11am this morning in St Martin Of Tours Church, Ballyhale, followed by burial in the new cemetery, with the family residence private.
The community has ben grieving following the passing of the young man, who hurled for Ballyhale Shamrocks.
Out of respect to the Aylward and Cullen families, all of the club’s matches last weekend were called off including Ballyhale’s Kilkenny Senior Hurling Championship quarter final against Clara.
On the club’s Facebook page, tributes were paid to Eugene: “As part of our Senior panel Eugene was a very popular young man and a friend to everyone who was lucky enough to have known him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult time.”
The club further extended condolences to the families affected, including his heartbroken parents Pat and Marie and brother Cian.
More people remembered Eugene beneath the post. “Eugene was a very determined man on the field encouraging everyone around him. He always recognised you off the pitch,” said one.
Another described him as a “gentleman and a funny character” while another simply said it was a pleasure to have known him.
He was from the well-known Aylward family of South Kilkenny, and was the grandnephew of both Carlow/Kilkenny TD Bobby Aylward and former MEP Liam Aylward, and a cousin of Cllr Eamon Aylward.