NI football player Niall McGinn, who hails from Donaghmore, tells of community's grief at Greenvale deaths
NORTHERN Ireland football hero Niall McGinn has told of his pain at the tragic deaths of three teenagers at a St Patrick's Day disco in Cookstown.
McGinn, who scored in Northern Ireland's 2-0 victory in the Euro 2020 qualifier on Thursday evening, dedicated his goal to his devastated community.
The Aberdeen winger, who is from Donaghamore, started his career with Dungannon Swifts.
Connor Currie (16), Morgan Barnard (17) and Lauren Bullock (17) who all died in the tragedy, went to school in Dungannon.
McGinn, whose sister is a neighbour of the Bullock family, 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 Belfast Telegraph reported.
"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 a shred of light to the local community that is good. It was an important goal for Northern Ireland but it was also for my local community as well."
Meanwhile a GoFundMe page, set up on Tuesday to help the families, had raised more than £11,000, well above its initial target. Readers can donate at Gofundme.com/three-greenvale-angels