Friday 30 September 2016

Tributes to 'inspirational' teen who beat cancer only for disease to return

Published 16/03/2016 | 08:36

Teenager Conall McCrory with singer Lisa McHugh
Teenager Conall McCrory with singer Lisa McHugh

A teenager who died after a long struggle with cancer will be laid to rest today

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Conall McCrory, who was first diagnosed with cancer in his early teens, died on Monday after losing his second battle with the disease.

Conall McCrory
Conall McCrory

The 18-year-old, from Killyclogher, was described as an "inspiration" who showed great courage throughout his illness.

Among those paying tribute to music-mad Conall was country singing star Lisa McHugh.

Conall, who was among Lisa's biggest fans, met her on several occasions during his illness.

After he died, she took to her Facebook page to describe him as an "unbelievably courageous young man".

"I had the honour of spending only a few visits with Conall at his home in Omagh, and he certainly made an impact in that short time," she wrote.

"Thinking of his mum and dad and all of his extended family and friends at this awful time. Rest in peace."

Foncy McConnell, the principal of Christian Brothers Grammar School, Omagh, where Conall was a pupil for many years, said he would be remembered for his resilient character.

"He will always be held in the highest regard by everybody connected to the Christian Brothers Grammar School and he has left many fond and affectionate memories behind," he added.

"He was very sociable and popular and greatly appreciated by boys both within and beyond his year group.

"Conall will always be remembered as a humble and courteous young man with strong faith and traditional values, which endeared him to everyone who knew him.

"He showed great courage and bravery as he recovered from serious illness as a Year 9 pupil, and when he returned to school in Year 10 he remained outgoing and was determined to contribute fully to school life, which he did in many ways but particularly as a member of our school golf team.

"Once again, he showed courage when his illness returned in Year 13, indicative of Conall's resilient character.

"Conall will be greatly missed by everybody in the Omagh Christian Brothers community.

"Our heartfelt sympathies are extended to Conall's parents, Mary and Kieran, and to his family and friends who are in our thoughts and prayers at this time."

Co Londonderry singer Niamh McGlinchey said she was heartbroken over his death.

She posted on Facebook: "Sleep tight wee Conall. A friend and my biggest supporter, love and miss you always.

"He put his arms around you and lifted you to rest. God's garden must be beautiful, he always takes the best. We'll beat cancer."

Country music star Derek Ryan also paid tribute to the courageous Co Tyrone teenager.

"A day like today puts everything into perspective," he said. "Conall, buddy RIP."

Also remembering Conall fondly were members of Omagh Golf Club.

"The Committee and members at Omagh Golf Club are deeply saddened by the passing of our Junior club member Conall McCrory," a spokesman said,

The popular teenager's friends also took to social media to express their sympathy to his family, with many of them describing him as an "inspiration".

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