'I never saw courage like this' - President leads tributes following death of Pat Smullen

Pat passed away on Tuesday evening

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

President leads tributes following death of Pat Smullen

Pat Smullen in his riding days as a nine-time champion jockey

President Michael D Higgins has led tributes to Offaly man and nine-time champion Irish flat jockey Pat Smullen who has died at the age of 43. 

The former stable jockey of Dermot Weld was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2018 and underwent a number of surgeries and treatments. 

He passed away on Tuesday evening in St. Vincent's Hospital. He is survived by his loving wife Frances Crowley and their three children, Hannah, Sarah and Paddy.

Pat was a nine-time champion Irish flat jockey and won 12 European classics, including the Epsom Derby. He claimed the 2016 Epsom and Irish Derbies aboard Harzand for friend and former boss Dermot Weld. 

Pat was the top flat jockey in Ireland until his untimely retirement in 2018.

In 2019, he spearheaded a fundraising campaign for pancreatic cancer research to help others in his position. The campaign raised almost €3 million and included a champions race at the Curragh featuring the likes of Ruby Walsh and AP McCoy. 

Funeral arrangements later. 

Tributes have been flooding in from across the world and you can read just a sample below: