Stuart Mangan, the 26-year-old from Fermoy in County Cork who suffered a severe spinal injury while playing rugby in London in April 2008, has sadly passed away.
London: A Mass is to be held in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church at 41, Kensington Church Street (W8 4BB) at 7.30pm on Tuesday, August 11.
Dublin: A Memorial Mass for Stuart will be held in the Church of St. Therese, Mount Merrion at 5.30pm on Wednesday, August 12.
Fermoy: Stuart’s Funeral Mass will be held in St. Patrick’s Church, Fermoy, County Cork on Friday, August 14 at 12pm, followed by burial at Kilcrumper Cemetery, Fermoy.
Stuart’s family kindly request that if desired, in lieu of flowers, donations would be made to: The IRFU Charitable Trust, The RFU Injured Players Foundation or The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore.
Stuart Mangan was taken to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London last Thursday as a result of respiratory problems and passed away peacefully on Friday (August 7) in the presence of his parents Brian and Una and his three brothers Keith, John and Barry.
The former scrum half and out-half had suffered a devastating spinal injury while playing rugby with his club Hammersmith and Fulham RFC in London in April last year.
Sadly, this sporting accident left Stuart totally paralysed from the neck down. His surgeon, Dr Fred Middleton, described the injury as the ‘worst type’ as it prevented any voluntary movement of the limbs and affected the muscles used in breathing.
During his short life, the Rockwell College and UCC graduate showed incredible energy, enthusiasm and love for people and it was this love and positivity which touched so many in the Irish and international rugby community.
Munster and Lions captain Paul O’Connell, who became a close friend of Stuart’s, and Munster legend Mick Galwey, another friend and one of many who got involved in the fundraising initiatives for Stuart, both spoke of just how inspirational a man he was.
“We were in contact with each other by text after all the Munster matches and most recently after the Lions Tests,” O’Connell told the Irish Examiner.
“Stuart’s is an incredible story. Anyone who knew him spoke of how positive he was and what a great guy he was.
“It explains why so many people were so enthusiastic about helping with the appeal. Stuart was just a massive inspiration to anyone in adversity and he will be a big loss.”
Also speaking to the Examiner, former Munster, Ireland and Lions lock Galwey said: “Despite his circumstances, what struck you about Stuart is how positive and upbeat he was.
“He has left a great legacy as an inspiration to anyone who suffers a serious sports injury in the way he spoke so openly and publicly about his situation.
“Unfortunately, there are many people like Stuart who have such injuries but there was something special about him which is probably why so many people came out to give him such amazing support.
“You would get a warm feeling from Stuart the moment you would meet him and I’m sure that’s what most people felt.
“Stuart’s death is heartbreaking for the Mangan family but they should have no regrets as they could not have done more for him.”
A number of current and former Ireland and international players have become patrons of the Stuart Mangan Appeal, including Paul O’Connell, Mick Galwey, Peter Clohessy, Denis Leamy, Ronan O’Gara, Denis Fogarty, Leo Cullen, Jason Leonard, Dan Carter, Thomas Castaignede, Jonathan Davies, Raphael Ibanez, David Sole and Lawrence Dallaglio.
A statement on the Stuart Mangan Appeal website read: “Since his accident, Stuart has inspired many with his courage and greatly increased his circle of friends. In this way, he has left us all a great legacy.
“The Mangan family would like to thank all those who supported them during the last sixteen months, especially his doctors, nurses and carers. The kindness and generosity shown by people has been simply amazing.
“In response to Stuart’s wishes, his organs have been donated for the benefit of others.
“In the near future, it will be decided by all those involved how best to honour Stuart’s memory.
“Funeral arrangements will be announced shortly.”
May he rest in peace. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
Click here to view the ‘Stuart’s Story’ video.