Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Premiership star played on after Wexford tragedy

Diarmuid Flood and his wife Lorraine on their wedding day. Lorraine was a cousin of Republic of Ireland footballer Kevin Doyle
Diarmuid Flood and his wife Lorraine on their wedding day. Lorraine was a cousin of Republic of Ireland footballer Kevin Doyle

Republic of Ireland football star Kevin Doyle chose to turn out for Premiership side Reading just moments after learning that several members of his family had died in an apparent murder-suicide in Co Wexford.

Businessman Diarmuid Flood is feared to have murdered his wife — Doyle's cousin — and two children before taking his own life in the horrific incident which has stunned people across Ireland.

Reading manager Steve Coppell paid tribute to Doyle who played against Wigan on Saturday just moments after his manager had informed him of the tragedy. The Ireland striker's cousin Lorraine, her husband and her two children were all found dead following a house fire in Co Wexford in the early hours of the morning.

"His family had wanted to keep it from him until after the match, but I felt the right thing to do was to tell him what had happened," Coppell said. "He felt, very bravely, that he wanted to play and he was terrific given the circumstances. I can only imagine what he was thinking about before the game."

He added: "He was obviously very upset but I think, in a way, playing in the game took his mind off it rather than just sitting thinking about it. Now he can do his mourning with the rest of his family."

Meanwhile the shotgun found at the scene had been in the possession of the suspected killer for several years.

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