Belfast Telegraph

Tributes as tragic GAA star Aaron Devlin laid to rest

By Nevin Farrell

A grieving brother of ex-Derry GAA star Aaron Devlin yesterday drew applause from mourners after calling his relative a "hero".

Ronan Devlin was speaking at the Requiem Mass at St Patrick's Church, where Aaron's Ballinderry Shamrocks team-mates formed a guard of honour and a lone piper led the procession.

Hundreds of people, including Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness attended the funeral for the 23-year-old, who died last week after contracting meningitis.

Aaron's brother told the congregation: "If I could take anything from his action-packed 23 years, it's to smile and laugh more, appreciate your friends and appreciate your family. He was just an ordinary cub. He's now more than a wee brother, he's more than a friend. He's my hero."

Ballinderry Parish Priest, Fr Peter Donnelly, added: "We have all been brought to our knees. This harrowing week has taught us how precious the gift of life is. Precious from its first moments until its end amid the floods of bitter tears.

"Just 23, Aaron has changed the world for many people and the way we see and value life itself."

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