The unexplained sudden death of a young player in a rugby friendly match between the Ireland and Scottish Parliament teams has left both groups “completely helpless and shocked”, said Ireland selection captain TD Neale Richmond.
avid Hill (31) suddenly fell ill on the pitch and died shortly thereafter, despite immediate care from a doctor and paramedic who was there quickly.
The general election friendly has been a fixture of Six Nations international rugby weekends for many years and the Scotland-Irish game was played at Energia Park, Donnybrook, Dublin on Saturday morning.
Mr Hill was political adviser to Scottish Conservative Member of Parliament Jamie Greene and a popular member of the political rugby team he had helped rebuild a few years ago. Mr Green said everyone was both shocked and saddened by what had happened, and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also expressed her deep sadness.
Mr Richmond, a Fine Gael TD for Dublin Rathdown, said he knows Mr Hill and has played against him in the recent past. “He was a very easygoing man who was well liked by everyone and he was a huge rugby fan,” he said Irish Independent.
People at the game noted that Mr Hill had recently engaged in what was described as a “completely harmless jerk”.
As the game progressed, he turned to a teammate and said he wasn’t feeling well and collapsed shortly after.
The pitchside doctor rushed to his aid and was quickly joined by a team of paramedics from the nearby Donnybrook Fire Station.
It is understood they went to great lengths to revive him before he was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital.
Mr Hill’s parents flew to Dublin on Saturday night and his father Rodger Hill said his family was “broken” by the death of their son.
To clarify the exact cause of death, an autopsy result is awaited, but a heart attack is suspected.
“All of us involved in Parliament’s rugby team are saddened by the tragic loss of our friend David Hill,” Richmond said.
“We are thinking of his parents, family, colleagues and many friends in particular and are grateful to both Scottish Rugby and IRFU for their support.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/shock-and-grief-as-political-adviser-31-dies-during-irish-scots-parliaments-rugby-game-41468848.html Shock and sadness as the political adviser, 31, dies during the Irish Scottish Parliament rugby match