Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

GAA chief pays rugby death respects

Nevin Spence died along with his father and brother at their farm when they fell into a slurry pit (John Dickson/Ulster Rugby/PA)

The tragic loss of rugby ace Nevin Spence has been mourned by a leading figure in gaelic games, whose ranks also lost a young player in an accident only days ago.

Two days before the 22-year-old rugby star was killed working at his family farm in Co Down, gaelic footballer Brian Og Maguire died in an industrial accident at a factory in his native Fermanagh.

The tragedy in Derrylin unfolded on Thursday and saw a major outpouring of grief in sport circles, before the added blow of Nevin's death on Saturday.

Aogan O Fearghail, president of the Ulster Council of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), highlighted the poignancy of the double tragedy and extended his condolences to the heartbroken Spence family.

"All of Ulster GAA send their deep condolences to the Spence family on their terrible loss," he said.

"It is absolutely tragic and comes days after the death of Brian Og Maguire.

"Over recent days we have seen two young sportsmen, at the top of their game, lose their lives in tragic accidents. The Spence family have tragically lost a father and a brother as well."

He said the wider community would struggle to come to terms with the tragedy and added that the Spence family would be in his thoughts and prayers.

Brian Og Maguire was part of the Fermanagh senior football panel and also helped his Lisnaskea club reach its first Fermanagh senior club final since 1996 this year.

He led the team to All-Ireland intermediate success last year.

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