Lámh Dhearg GAC have paid a heartfelt tribute to club member Ryan Straney who died after a road traffic collision in Australia on Monday.

Ryan Straney (27), from the Upper Springfield Road, died in the early hours of Monday following the collision on Sydney’s M1 Pacific Motorway.

In a statement the West Belfast club said: "It is with deep regret to inform you that Ryan Straney, esteemed former player and member, has sadly passed away in a road traffic accident in Australia. 

"Ryan was a talented dual player. He was a life-long, loyal and a much valued and dedicated member from a family synonymous with the club. Ryan was an absolute gentleman and a true Gael. He was a very popular member and player among his peers and teammates.

"Coaches always found Ryan a pleasure to coach and manage as he was honest, always smiling and willing to learn and improve. Ryan was very intelligent, unassuming and always had time for you. He was a very considerate, caring and pleasant young man. 

"Ryan played for the club since his early childhood and served the club with distinction and wore the club jersey with immense pride. He enjoyed a successful dual juvenile career and his ability and positive attitude saw him represent the county in Development squads and at minor. Unfortunately a bad run of serious injuries hampered Ryan’s promising senior football and hurling careers as he sustained a broken ankle and two ACL injuries and their toll forced him to retire early. 

Ryan playing for Lámh Dhearg

Ryan playing for Lámh Dhearg

"Two highlights from his distinguished career was his accuracy from frees and open play inspiring the club to the County Minor B Championship football title in 2013.  On his senior debut he scored a hat-trick of superb goals and two points.

"After his retirement Ryan got involved in coaching senior hurlers and underage football teams using his astute knowledge to building up a strong rapport with his teams as he helped nurture their skills.

"Ryan was also a very talented golfer and in recent years relished playing in the club’s popular Golf Classic at his home club Balmoral.

"Ryan's sad passing will be a huge loss to his family, friends, club and community. The best way to honour Ryan is to remember the many good times when his company enriched our lives with his affable personality.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his parents Vincent and Sharon, brothers Declan and Callum and grandparents Geordie and Theresa Fegan and his family circle at this sad and difficult time. May Ryan rest in peace .

"In ar gcroíthe go deo. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis."