Monday 22 April 2019

'The little girl only lives two doors down from my sister' - Niall McGinn dedicates goal to Greenvale victims

Northern Ireland's Niall McGinn (centre) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying, Group C match at Windsor Park, Belfast. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Northern Ireland's Niall McGinn (centre) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying, Group C match at Windsor Park, Belfast. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Northern Ireland football hero Niall McGinn has spoken of his pain at the tragic deaths of three children in Cookstown on St Patrick's night.

McGinn, who scored first in Northern Ireland's 2-0 victory in the Euro 2020 qualifier, dedicated his goal to his devastated community. McGinn is from Donaghmore and started his football career at Dungannon Swifts.

Lauren Bullock (17), Connor Currie (16) and Morgan Barnard (17), who died in the tragedy, went to school in Dungannon.

The Aberdeen winger, whose sister was a neighbour of Lauren, said: "I was devastated when I heard the news. It was in the back of my mind to do well in the game against Estonia and score a goal and thankfully I did that.

"The little girl only lives two doors down from my sister and it is so, so sad what happened. My sister was down at the house the other day and my mum has been along as well. I saw the remains coming home and it has been a desperate time for all the families involved.

 

"I have spoken to a lot of people and everyone in Donaghmore is devastated, and if me doing well and scoring a goal on the international stage can bring any sort of shed of light to the local community that is good. It was an important goal for Northern Ireland, but it was for my local community as well."

 

Floral tributes have been laid at the Greenvale Hotel in memory of the teenagers.

 

A candlelit vigil at the Spar shop on Portadown's Garvaghy Road has been organised for 7pm on Sunday.

 

It is understood the mother of Connor Currie is from Portadown and has family in the area.

 

Last night a GoFundMe page set up to help the families had raised almost £9,000 - more than four times its initial target.

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