Tuesday 17 September 2019

Shock at death of student Jack

Anna Hayes

There was widespread shock and sadness across the county following the sudden, tragic passing of a young secondary school student on Wednesday last.

Jack Whelan Kinsella, the son of well-known service station operator Sean Kinsella and special needs assistant Michelle Whelan, was laid to rest on Sunday afternoon following his funeral Mass in St David's Church, Oylegate.

A student at the CBS Secondary School in Wexford, he was in second year.

School Principal, Michael McMahon said in a statement: 'It was with great shock and sadness that we learned on Thursday morning last of the death of Jack Whelan Kinsella. Jack was a Second Year student here in Coláiste Éamonn Rís. He had made a very positive contribution to the school in his time with us and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him.'

Jack, he said, had been popular with his peers. He excelled at woodwork and was also very interested in rugby, bringing his undoubted sporting talent to the field of play when he lined out for the junior rugby team.

Mr McMahon said: 'This is a terrible tragedy for his family, our school and our community. We are deeply saddened by these events. Our sympathy, thoughts and prayers are with Jack's family and friends at this time.' On hearing of Jack's passing, the school implemented their Critical Incident Management Plan, putting in place supports to provide ongoing help to members of the school community.

He added: 'Psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) have been on site with us for the past few days, supporting and advising teachers in their efforts to assist our students at this time. The school has provided advice to parents to help them support their sons and we will continue to do all we can to support all of our school community in the coming weeks and months.'

Jack was an avid and talented rugby player, lining out for Enniscorthy Rugby Club and playing in the Number 7 position on the Under-14 team. All youth and mini activity in the club was suspended from Thursday until yesterday (Monday) as a mark of respect.

On Thursday night, the club held a support night for Jack's team mates, organised by the club welfare officer and youth coordinator, where counselling services were available for those who wanted them. Jack's team mates bonded together in their grief and support was offered by their coaches.

Rev Nicola Halford and Fr Odhrán Furlong led prayers for Jack, his family, team mates, coaches and club members.

Senior club players also attended to show solidarity with their junior members and emphasised the strong family and community spirit of the club that was grieving the loss of one of its talented fellow players.

Club members, at the request of the family, wore their club colours to Jack's funeral Mass on Sunday.

Three service stations affiliated to the Kinsella family, Killeen's Service Station, Rocklands Service Station and Mace Ardcavan were closed on Sunday as a mark of respect.

Jack is survived by his mother Michelle Whelan, his father Sean Kinsella, his brothers and sisters Katelyn, Max and Emily, his grandparents Seamus and Joan Whelan, and Paddy and Cecily Kinsella, extended family, relatives and friends.

Wexford People

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