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Snow Patrol back fundraiser in memory of Armagh pupils Lesley-Ann McCarragher and John Irwin

Band donate signed memorabilia to charity event in honour of Lesley-Ann and John

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 21/09/2016

Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody
Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody
Lesley-Ann McCarragher
John Irwin

Big-hearted rockers Snow Patrol have backed a charity fundraiser in memory of two Armagh teenagers who died tragically just days apart.

The band has donated signed memorabilia for a special auction to raise money in honour of Lesley-Ann McCarragher and John Irwin.

The teenagers, who attended City of Armagh High School, passed away earlier this year.

Lesley-Ann (19), a past pupil, suffered fatal injuries in an alleged hit-and-run while jogging close to her family home near Milford.

John, who had just turned 16, died in hospital after collapsing at the school just days later.

The pair's deaths caused widespread shock across the local community.

Lesley-Ann was a big Snow Patrol fan and had attended one of their concerts just shortly before she died.

At the teenager's funeral, the Rev Tony Davidson referred to the lyrics of the group's emotionally charged hit, This Isn't Everything You Are.

When the group learned of the charity auction in Lesley-Ann and John's memory through the local newspaper, the Ulster Gazette, frontman Gary Lightbody and his bandmates offered their support.

They donated signed memorabilia to the event, which takes place next Friday night at City of Armagh High School.

The auction has been organised by the school's past pupils' association.

All the proceeds will support two charities chosen by the teenagers' families: Air Ambulance NI and Craigavon Area Hospital's Intensive Care Unit. Funds will also be donated in John's memory to St John's Parish Church in Middletown.

Lesley-Ann, a former head girl at City of Armagh High School, was jogging along the Monaghan Road when she was knocked down on April 9. She had been studying at Loughry food and agriculture college near Cookstown.

Just days later, on April 13, John passed away.

He had taken ill the previous afternoon at school, where he was a popular Year 12 pupil.

A cookbook dedicated to Lesley-Ann and John has already raised hundreds of pounds.

The auction and quiz will take place next Friday (September 30) at 7pm at City of Armagh High School. There will be an entry fee of £5 for adults or £3 for under-16s and over-60s.

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