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Electric Picnic fatality had heart transplant in Britain

Electric Picnic, Phil McConnell
Phil McConnell was found dead on Saturday

A YOUNG man who died at Ireland’s Electric Picnic festival on Saturday had previously received a heart transplant in Britain.

Phil McConnell (20), from Malahide in Co Dublin, died in the early hours of Saturday morning having collapsed at one of the campsites at the Stradbally, Co Laois, festival.

He is believed to have been one of the youngest people in Ireland to have had a heart transplant, which he received aged one.

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A postmortem will be carried out today at Portlaoise General Hospital to determine the cause of death.

There is no indication that drugs played a factor in the young man’s death, however Electric Picnic organisers did issue a warning to concert-goers of the hazards of drug-taking on the site in the hours after Mr McConnell’s death.

In a statement, they said: “There may be some potentially dodgy ‘Blue Ghosts/Casper’ pills circulating onsite. We urge you Picnickers to be very careful, stay safe.”

Blue Ghost and Casper are both forms of ecstasy.

Mr McConnell was a student at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and a past-pupil of Belvedere College.

According to reports, he only got a ticket to the Electric Picnic at the last minute.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Brendan Gilligan, chairman of the Irish Heart and Lung Transplant Association, said of Mr McConnell: “It was wonderful that he had 19 years with a transplant, but we in the transplant community are really saddened by his passing.

“He had a very fruitful active life after this transplant. It was an absolutely tragedy that he died so young.”

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Steve Cummins
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Steve is the Irish Post's digital media & entertainment editor and looks after the paper's website and weekly entertainment supplement, Rí-Rá. Follow him @steve_cummins

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