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Villagers' vigil for bandsman Ray Laverty injured at march

By Nevin Farrell

Published 03/08/2015

Seriously injured: Ray Laverty
Seriously injured: Ray Laverty

Hundreds of people have gathered in a Co Antrim village for an emotional vigil to pray for a young father fighting for his life after suffering a serious head injury during a band parade.

Ray Laverty (25) is currently in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast and yesterday Dervock Orange Hall overflowed with well-wishers.

He was badly hurt during a disturbance in a hotel car park at Castle Street in Ballymoney on July 26 after a band parade.

The Belfast Health Trust said last night that Mr Laverty remains in a critical condition.

The young father is a member of Dervock Young Defenders band, and his colleagues played at yesterday's vigil.

Villager Peter Thompson said on Facebook: "Today at five o'clock Dervock came to a standstill as hundreds of people turned out to take part in a prayer vigil for the recovery of our good friend, young Ray Laverty. Never in my lifetime in the village have I ever seen such a display of solidarity and community spirit.

"The combined thoughts and prayers of the hundreds of people who assembled at the Orange Hall centred on Ray and his family and it is our hope that through the power of collective prayer Ray will make a speedy recovery".

A 22-year-old man arrested by police investigating the suspected assault was last week released on bail pending further enquiries.

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