Northern Ireland news

Tributes paid to Tyrone runner Kevin Smyth who died suddenly

Tributes have been paid to Co Tyrone athlete Kevin Smyth who died suddenly at home on Saturday
Connla Young

A POPULAR Co Tyrone runner who died suddenly has been praised for his role in helping turn the Omagh half marathon into a success.

Kevin Smyth, who was in his early fifties, died suddenly at home on Galbally Road, Dromore on Saturday.

A long time member of Omagh Harriers, he was involved in organising community runs and cycle events for charity.

Requiem Mass for Mr Smyth was held at St Davog’s Church Dromore yesterday and he was later laid to rest in St Dympna’s Cemetery.

The athlete, who worked for the Department for Infrastructure, was involved in the recent Dromore to the 4 cycle which was organised by Dromore GFC and supported by the Big Ridge Cycling Club.

Omagh Harriers described his death as “desperately sad” on its Facebook page.

“Kevin was a hugely popular and active member of the club for many years and a past member of the Omagh Half Marathon Committee helping to build the event into what we have today,” it said.

The club also extended its sympathies to his family.

Other Facebook tributes included one from Scott Camley.

“God bless you and your family and friends I will remember your enthusiasm for work, life and for running and fitness (and) how you promoted Downs Syndrome at the half marathon four or five years ago," he said.

“And that whilst you were always interested in me and my fitness you always, always asked about the family - a public servant for many, many years you will also be missed by your colleagues.”

Ireland international athlete Ann-Marie McGlynn said Mr Smyth was a "lovely man".

"I had the pleasure of his company on the bike for the Omagh half marathon this year, may he rest in peace," she said.

Mr Smyth is survived by his son Killian and family circle.

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