Northern Ireland news

Derry GAA pay tribute following sudden death of hurler Aodhán O'Donnell

A search had been launched along Derry's River Foyle following reports that a man was seen entering the water. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

DERRY GAA last night paid tribute to hurler Aodhán O'Donnell, who has died at the age of 19.

His body was recovered from the River Foyle in Derry yesterday following extensive searches since Sunday when he was reported missing.

It is understood rowers on the river found the body before contacting the Foyle Search and Rescue charity. Police said they are not treating his death as suspicious.

A message on the PSNI Foyle Facebook page read: "Unfortunately this morning we had to task Foyle Search and Rescue to recover a body from the River Foyle of a male who entered the water late Sunday night, we are not treating this as suspicious.

"I'm sure you will join me and my team in sending your thoughts to the family and friends at this time".

Mr O'Donnell represented Derry at inter-county level and played in the Christy Ring Cup semi-final against Kildare last month. He was also a member of the Na Magha CLG club.

In a statement last night Derry GAA said they were "devastated at the tragic death of Aodhán O'Donnell".

"Aodhán was a much valued team-mate and hurler at both club and county level and will be greatly missed," the statement added.

"The thoughts and prayers of everyone connected with Derry GAA are with Aodhán's family, friends and club members at this difficult time."

His club, Na Magha, also said: "The club and O'Donnell family would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming support in what has been a very challenging week".

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