Belfast Telegraph

Tragic schoolboy’s legacy supports young musicians

Another gala night is being held in memory of Thomas Devlin, the schoolboy tragically murdered in north Belfast in 2005.

Now a firm fixture on the local charitable calendar, Belfast’s Europa Hotel will again be the venue for the event on Saturday, October 2.

Local broadcaster Claire McCollum has been confirmed as host for the evening, which last year raised £12,000 for the Thomas Devlin Fund, administered by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland.

This year awards will be presented to young people studying music and eight bursaries will be provided, totalling over £8,000.

Last year’s bursary awards helped local students meet the costs of tuition fees, materials, equipment and travel and this year’s successful students will be recognised at the gala event.

Thomas’s father, Jim Devlin, said it was always a pleasure for himself and Thomas’s mother Penny to host the gala in memory of their son.

“It’s fantastic that Thomas can leave such a positive legacy, with thousands of pounds disbursed in his memory to young people in Northern Ireland.

“Our heartfelt thanks go to Claire McCollum for agreeing to be our host for the evening, her enthusiasm and interest is infectious.

“I hope as many people as possible will come on the evening and help us raise money to give some of our most creative young people a real boost for their futures.”

Claire McCollum said she was ‘deeply honoured’ to have been asked to host the gala. “I’ve no doubt it will be a night of celebration, as well as commemoration and in these tough economic times, it’s wonderful that local youngsters can avail of the help of such a wonderful charity. I’m only too glad to help.”

In total, the Thomas Devlin Fund has dispersed almost £30,000 to local students since its development in 2006.

The Thomas Devlin Fund also hopes to break the Guinness World Record for the longest piece of continuous bunting over the next year, through the Flags of Hope initiative, launched in May this year.

To purchase a ticket for the Thomas Devlin Fund Gala Dinner, email pennyj.holloway@btinternet.com or call the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland on 90 245 927.

For further information about the Thomas Devlin Fund, click online at www.thomasdevlin.com.

Belfast Telegraph

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