Plea for Conor McGregor to send poster to Anto's grieving family
A Facebook plea for superstar fighter Conor McGregor to send a signed poster in memory of Lurgan lad Anto Byrne has gone viral on social media.
Anto passed away suddenly with a suspected drug overdose at the end of September at the young age of 25.
An avid fan, he was nicknamed McGregor due to his uncanny resemblance to the Irish Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star.
Last Saturday night McGregor made history by becoming the first fighter in the UFC’s history to hold two belts at the same time.
He did so by knocking out lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez in the second round of their UFC 205 main event.
Last week, days before the big fight, Anto’s partner Ciara O’Hara posted a passionate plea on Facebook to get a signed photo or poster from McGregor for a plaque for his grave.
The grieving 20-year-old posted: “I know this is the longest shot ever, but could everyone please share this and try get it to reach as far as possible and as close as possible to Conor McGregor or even his agent/manager.
“I’m looking to try get a signed photo or poster from McGregor for a plaque for Anthony’s grave.
“Anyone that knows Anthony knows he was literally the cut down version of McGregor and was even nicknamed it everywhere he went.”
She said he was the spitting image of him and asked everyone to share the post.
“I know Anthony would love it and I would be over the moon to get it done! The post will be public to get it shared as far as possible, thank you so much!”
However little did Ciara believe that overnight her post would be shared hundreds of times and spread across the world.
So far it has got 1,500 shares and like by almost 2k people - an extraordinary achievement from a grieving mum in Lurgan.
Ciara explained that she wanted the signed poster as something the kids daughter Orla-Rose, who will be one years old next month, and step-son Caiden, can cherish as they grow up without their dad.
She said it had been shared across the globe and Conor McGregor’s dad and cousins had been in touch.
“Anto would have been buzzing at the fight at the weekend. It would be great for the kids to get the poster,” she said.
Anto’s mum Maggie bravely went public soon after his tragic death urging young people to stay away from drugs.
Maggie found her son dead at his Lurgan flat and during his wake she asked his friends as they paid their respects: “Do you want to end up like Anto?”
She was adamant his death would not be in vain and wanted to urge his friends and other young people to stay away from drugs.