Hero's welcome: Crowds line streets for late Tyrone hurling star Damian Casey

Nicky Rackard Cup Final, Croke Park, Dublin 21/5/2022
Roscommon vs Tyrone
Tyrone's Damian Casey
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tom Maher
The 29-year-old scored in all 101 appearances for the senior county team. Credit: INPHO/Tom Maher

Large crowds have lined the streets of Dungannon as the body of late Tyrone hurling star Damien Casey returned to his home town.

The 29-year-old died suddenly while in Spain. He was there for a friend's wedding in Spain earlier this month.

He played for Eoghan Ruadh GAA club and at inter-county level for the Tyrone senior hurling team, where he was regarded as one of the county's best hurlers.

On Thursday evening, Eoghan Ruadh GAA club tweeted a video with a caption saying they "welcomed our hero home tonight".

Mourners have been paying their respects to the Dungannon man at his wake this weekend before he is buried at a funeral mass on Sunday.

Following his death, Tyrone county chairman Michael Kerr described Damien as "someone who brought honour, delight and simple, straightforward gladness to our whole county, and far beyond, is gone and it's so hard to take in."

He added: "Damian Casey was a special gift to Tyrone and to hurling. We were the richer for his presence and are the poorer for his passing."

From his debut in 2012 until his death in 2022, Damien made 101 appearances for the senior Tyrone team - having started and scored in every game.

He scored 14 points for the county in May's Nickey Rackard Cup final at Dublin's Croke Park, claiming victory over Roscommon.

The funeral takes place on Sunday at St Patrick's Church, Dungannon at 2pm.