Magheralin Village FC in final tribute as young footballer is laid to rest
THE funeral took place in Co Down yesterday of a young footballer described as the "heart and soul" of his village and club.
Niall O'Hanlon, from Magheralin, died after being struck by a car on the New Forge Road, close to the family home, at 10.30pm last Friday night.
Members of Magheralin Village FC were among the many mourners who attended the funeral.
They flanked the coffin as it made its way to the Church of St Patrick's and St Ronan's for Requiem Mass.
Mr O'Hanlon was a talented footballer and one of the first players to sign for his local club when it was founded last year.
In a Facebook tribute, the club described him as their "wing wizard" and "the heartbeat of our team".
Mr O'Hanlon also played for St Michael's Gaelic Football Club as a young boy and was a dedicated Liverpool FC fan.
The cortege passed the scene of the accident where a number of football jerseys and floral tributes had been left.
Dozens of tributes were also posted on social media, with one friend saying, "You were the heart and soul of Magheralin and I just can't see there being a day where I will understand why this happened."
Another added: "Niall you were a legend brightening up every room you entered. Will miss you my friend."
He is survived by his parents Phelim and Stephanie and sister Shauneen.