Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Champ Paddy Barnes' tribute to ‘talented boxer’

Paddy Barnes

Commonwealth games gold medalist Paddy Barnes has paid tribute to a fellow boxer who took his own life.

Teenager Liam McGuinness had celebrated the achievements of three Northern Irish boxers in Delhi at a function on the Falls Road just hours before he died.

Mr Barnes described the 19-year-old as a “talented boxer” who had a “great future ahead of him”.

He told the Belfast Telegraph: “He was in great form when I met him, very upbeat.

“His friend from the club, Paddy Gallagher, had won the gold [in the Commonwealth Games] and he was over the moon for him. He was very happy for him — and the next morning he was dead.

“He was young and he had his whole future ahead of him. Why he took his life, nobody will ever know,” added Barnes.

The apprentice plumber, who lived in Teeling Grove in Lagmore in west Belfast, was a member of Gleann Amateur Boxing Club.

He had represented Ulster and Ireland in the ring on several occasions.

Yesterday it was reported that another young male had died by suicide in the upper Springfield area of west Belfast.

It is believed that 21 people have taken their lives in the area since the beginning of this year.

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