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I will never get over it, insists man who tried in vain to save murder victim

By Donna Deeney

Published 24/05/2016

Friends leave flowers at Milldale Crescent in Currynierin where Gerard Quinn died
Friends leave flowers at Milldale Crescent in Currynierin where Gerard Quinn died
PSNI have launched a murder inquiry following the death of Gerard Quinn from Londonderry

A man who battled in vain to save the life of murder victim Gerard Quinn has said he will be forever traumatised.

Paul Sharkey, who tended to the 24-year-old after an altercation at a house party in Londonderry at the weekend, spoke as police last night charged a 16-year-old with murder.

The boy, who is also charged with GBH with intent on Mr Quinn's brother, is expected to appear at Londonderry Magistrates Court today.

Mr Sharkey told the Belfast Telegraph he would never get over what he saw.

"I haven't slept since it happened," he added. "Every time I close my eyes, I see him."

It is believed that Mr Quinn may have died after being stabbed in the neck with a broken bottle.

His family is still waiting to have his body returned to them for a funeral.

While a post-mortem examination took place early yesterday morning, it is understood the delay in releasing his remains is to aid the police investigation.

Yesterday, a deep sense of shock hung over Currynierin, where the father-of-one was fatally injured during the incident at a party in Milldale Crescent.

Locals said they were still struggling to believe the "popular, well-liked" young man had lost his life.

"I heard the noise and went out to see what was going on and I saw this body lying at the wall," Mr Sharkey added.

"Gerard's brother, Michael, was lying on top of him so I got Michael off him.

"I was holding Gerard's neck, keeping the pressure on it, and then I remember the cops arrived and I shouted to them to bring a first aid kit."

"When we rolled Gerard over, we lost his pulse, but then we managed to get it back and he was still there.

"He was fighting for his life when he went to the hospital and I am glad he did not die in the street. But unfortunately he didn't make it."

This sense of shock has reverberated right across the small community, and many of those who witnessed the dreadful aftermath of the attack remain deeply affected.

One woman who was at the scene moments after the incident said there was pandemonium after people realised that someone had lost their life.

"We went out to see what had happened like everyone else," she added. "This is a very close-knit community and everyone knows everyone else.

"I knew straight away something was very wrong, but it was far worse than I thought.

"I couldn't believe that it was Gerard lying there on the grass. Then Paul Sharkey came out and was giving him CPR.

"Gerard was lying face-down in the grass and there was blood everywhere.

"It was horrendous. Gerard's brother, Michael, was standing there in a real daze. He was hurt too, but not badly. Someone then went and got Gerard's mother and his older brother.

"It was awful. It is hard to believe what happened on our doorstep and to such a lovely young fella."

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