DONEGAL IS in mourning following the death of popular Dunfanaghy teenager Callum Friel.
The 17-year-old, a talented sportsman, sadly lost his battle with an illness on Friday afternoon.
Callum slipped away, surrounded by his loving family.
Since September 2018, Callum had been fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and was recently referred for a bone marrow transplant after suffering a relapse in 2019.
A student at St Eunan’s College in Letterkenny, Callum received treatment at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital and St James’ Hospital in Dublin.
However, this afternoon, Callum lost his brave fight.
“It is with great sadness that we at St Eunan’s College announce the sad passing of our esteemed fifth year student Callum Friel,” a statement from St Eunan’s College said.
“We want to express our sincere condolences to Callum’s Mum and Dad, Yvonne and Manus, and all his family at this difficult time. Callum will be in our thoughts and prayers.”
St Eunan’s College will be open from 10am-1pm tomorrow, Saturday, for staff, students and parents/guardians. Visitors will have the opportunity to sign a book of condolences and a prayer service will be held in the College Chapel at 11.30am.
Prior to his diagnosis, Callum played for St Michael’s and Dunfanaghy Youths, while he represented his school, St Eunan’s College and the Donegal Schoolboys League.
His parents, Manus and Yvonne, had begun to secure accommodation in Dublin for the duration of Callum’s treatment.
A series of fundraisers had been organised over the last year-and-a-half. In 2018, friends at St Eunan’s College organised a head shave, while the proceeds from this Saturday’s MacRory Cup game between St Eunan’s College and Patrician High were for the Callum Friel Fund. That game has now been postponed as a mark of respect.
A Go Fund Me page established in 2018 raised almost €15,000.
An arduous battle included regular bouts of chemotherapy, monthly lumbar punctures and several blood transfusions.
Callum is survived by his parents, Manus and Yvonne, brother Ruairi and sister Cassie.
St Eunan’s College Principal Damien McCroary said: “Please keep Callum and his family in your prayers.”