A popular Irish physical education teacher and youth football coach died in a weekend dune buggy accident in the Sealine beach area that also claimed the life of his girlfriend, a fellow physical education teacher from England.
Eamonn Morgan and Charlotte Sant were both in their 20s and had moved to Qatar last year.
Morgan had just completed his first year teaching at Compass International School, where he was described as “an excellent teacher and a warm and friendly young man” who was “well-loved and well respected by his colleagues and the pupils he taught,” according principal Graham Horton.
Horton added that Morgan put in extra time outside regular school hours and encouraged youngsters to take up a variety of sports including football, sailing and golf.
“(He) will be fondly remembered and much missed by children across the school,” Horton said in a statement.
Outside of school, Morgan was an academy football coach at Evolution Sports Qatar, where he supervised teams of young players.
He described himself on his school’s profile page as being from a family of five and raised in a “small city in Northern Ireland.” He said he had previously coached in the US and UK and aspired to travel in South America.
Sant was identified in media reports as a physical education teacher from Manchester who, like Morgan, had joined the Qatar Gaelic Athletic Association.
Club chairman Peter Crowe remembered both fondly in a Facebook post, calling them “central to the community that is Qatar GAA”:
“I had the privilege of playing with Eamonn for the past year, an absolute gent, never to be seen without a smile on his face and the definition of a ‘character’ as we’d say back home. I also had the pleasure of training Charlotte for the past year, a sweet girl, who took to a new sport with more enthusiasm than you could ever ask for!”
Vehicle reportedly overturned
The exact circumstances of the dune buggy accident, which is said to have also injured two others, are not known. The Irish News reported that their vehicle veered off a steep incline along sand dunes. The Irish Mirror said the buggy subsequently overturned.
A manager at the Sealine Beach Resort said there were no reports of an accident on the hotel’s property or immediate vicinity. The vehicle rental company at the resort, Sand Dunes Holidays, said none of its quad bikes or buggies were involved in any incident over the weekend.
This is at least the second fatal incident in Qatar’s sand dunes this year. In February, a Sri Lankan Airlines flight attendant was killed and three of her colleagues injured while on a desert safari.
A memorial mass is scheduled for 7pm tonight at Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, according to the Qatar GAA. Compass International School says it will be holding a short time of reflection this week as well as a remembrance assembly in September to look back on Morgan’s “brief but memorable time” with the school.