Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Teen killed in Newry crash was about to embark on exciting chapter as student in Liverpool

Niall Murphy died in accident along with Drogheda woman Joan Connor (67)
The scene of the crash

A teenager killed in a weekend car crash was preparing to head to university in England and had his whole life ahead of him, a grieving relative has said.

The family, girlfriend and friends of 19-year-old Newry man Niall Murphy, who died in the city on Saturday, gathered yesterday as his remains were brought home to Windmill Heights ahead of his funeral tomorrow.

Niall lived with his mum Linda. His uncle Paddy Murphy said she was devastated at his death but was taking comfort from the tributes paid to him.

"Niall kept himself to himself but he had a very close set of friends and lived at home with his mum. He worked part-time in a local bar and loved shooting... BB guns, air pellets, paintballing, that sort of thing," said Mr Murphy.

"He was getting ready to go to university in Liverpool and had all his life ahead of him. He will be sadly missed by Linda in particular. She is devastated, and Niall's girlfriend is shattered."

Mr Murphy revealed his nephew's charity fundraising exploits had not been forgotten by those he helped.

"He shaved off his hair to raise money for the Buddy Bear Trust in Dungannon and one of their members of staff came here to the family home last night," he said.

Niall was one of two people who died in a collision between two vehicles on the city's Dublin Road on Saturday.

The other victim was Joan Connor (67) from Drogheda.

Niall, a former pupil at Abbey Grammar School, worked part-time at O'Dowd's Bar in Newry.

Bar manager Kevin McKinney said: "Niall had been working with us for about four years. He was a lovely lad, a great character and very popular. Niall lived life to the full and he will certainly be very sorely missed."

Other friends took to Facebook to pay their condolences to the teenager's family.

Elliott Forsythe wrote: "RIP. We were study mentors together in school and even when we were meant to be studying we would always talk about our common interest, airsofting" (a shooting sport).

Sinn Fein mayor of Newry & Mourne Dáire Hughes extended sympathies to the families of Saturday's crash victims.

"The news of further fatalities on our roads has shocked and saddened the entire community and, on their behalf, I extend deepest sympathies to the families of those tragically killed," he said.

Requiem Mass will be held in St Mary's Church in Newry tomorrow at noon.

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