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Motocross tragedy: Tributes paid to ‘smiling' teenager (13)

Tragic Daniel "Dano" Sheridan.
Seamus McKinney

A TEENAGE boy from Dublin killed in a motorbike accident in Co Derry, was a member of one of the best known families in Irish motocross circles.

Daniel Sheridan (13) from Tallaght died at Altnagelvin hospital after he was injured while riding his bike at a motocross track at Magilligan outside Limavady on Thursday.

Irish and British Coastguard helicopters were tasked to the scene and the teenager was rushed to Altnagelvin hospital but died yesterday surrounded by family.

Eyewitnesses said people at the scene worked frantically to save the youngster after the accident as a landing site was prepared for the Coastguard helicopters at nearby Bellarena.

The victim’s family was well known in Irish motocross circles. A family friend said he was visiting the Limavady area along with his mother and brother.

Martin Barr from Ballyclare, who knows the family, said Daniel had visited the Magilligan track before and was keen to use the facility again before the end of the summer holidays.

Mr Barr said the entire Sheridan family was devoted to the sport. He said the family often travelled all over Ireland the UK in pursuit of their interest. Motorcycling Ireland Motocross offered condolences to the Sheridan family last night.

Last night, the 13-year-old’s brother, Dean led tributes. Mr Sheridan described his brother as a “gentle, young boy who would not hurt a fly.”

He said his brother loved life and was his hero.

“His smile was just wonderful,” Mr Sheridan said.

In a post on Facebook, he said: “Such a strong little man. I’ll always love you brother we will be racing each other again sometime love u bro.”

As news of the youngster’s death spread, there were growing messages of sympathy on social media with friends expressing shock.

Family friend, William Turley said: “Devastated to hear this tragic news. Our deepest sympathys to you all, such a gentle wee soul. Pray heavens blessings to be with u all.”

SDLP assembly member for the area, Gerry Mullan said people were stunned by the tragedy.

Mr Mullan said: “There is sadness and disbelief about this. I am from that area and there has always been a track there; it is ideal for it. This was a well-run facility which complied with all legislation. This is a tragic accident.”

Sinn Féin assembly member, Caoimhe Archibald also offered her condolences while DUP councillor, Alan Robinson said it was a “horror to lose a child.”

The teenager’s death is the second time in five months that tragedy has struck the local motocross fraternity. In March, Limavady man, Dean Doherty (26) had to be airlifted to the Royal Victoria hospital in Belfast after suffering severe spinal injuries when he came off his scrambler bike in Magilligan.

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