The family of the young Ballinderry footballer Aaron Devlin have said they have been strengthened by the public support and prayers.
“Following a characteristically hard-fought battle with a sudden illness, our son, brother and friend Aaron has left us,” the family said in a statement.
“This has been an unimaginably tough and dark time for us - and will continue to be.
“The actions, words, prayers, kindness, and support from so many people has genuinely touched us.
“We may never be able to thank everyone for it, but please know that it has helped us realise just what an impact he made on this world in just 23 years. We have gained so much strength and pride from it.
“We now hope that the many memories Aaron has given us will help us through the challenge that we must now face together.”
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Ulster GAA President Martin McAviney extended his condolences to the family.
“Aaron’s death is an unimaginable loss for both his family and his community. Ulster GAA offers them and all Aaron’s many teammates our support at this difficult time and express our sincere sympathy on their loss,” he said.
“People throughout Ulster and Ireland will remember Aaron wearing either the Ballinderry or Derry jersey as he graced each field with his youth, talent and skill. That is how he should always be remembered; as a talented player who proudly represented and loved the GAA though his involvement at Club, Community and County level.
“I also extend our sympathy to our colleagues in both Ballinderry GAA and Derry GAA.
“Finally I ask GAA members throughout Ulster and Ireland to keep Aaron’s mother Carmel, father Eugene, sister Anna, and brothers Ronan and Coilin in their thoughts and prayers in the weeks ahead.”
“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”