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Coronavirus: Outpouring of support for ill solicitor Niall Murphy 'truly overwhelming', says colleague

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Messages: Niall Murphy

Messages: Niall Murphy

Messages: Niall Murphy

Messages of support for a high-profile Belfast solicitor fighting for his life against the coronavirus have been "truly overwhelming," his colleague has said.

Niall Murphy remained in a critical but stable condition on Wednesday after he was rushed to hospital last week.

The 43-year-old father-of-three was placed in a medically induced coma last week and is on a ventilator.

A partner with the KRW law firm, Mr Murphy is also a leading figure in Co Antrim GAA.

On Monday, friends and work colleagues asked supporters to send a message of support to his family and for Mr Murphy to read as he recovers.

Those messages in their own way can give a little bit of comfort to the family and indeed any family who is experiencing a similar horrendous ordeal as Niall's Kevin Winters

KRW partner Kevin Winters told the Belfast Telegraph: "The outpouring of support has been truly overwhelming.

"Those messages in their own way can give a little bit of comfort to the family and indeed any family who is experiencing a similar horrendous ordeal as Niall's.

"So far there's been no real change in his condition. He remains critical but stable."

The gesture was praised by Co Down pastor Mark McClurg, who is recovering after spending time in intensive care for coronavirus.

He said receiving positive messages had been vital to give his family hope.

"As a covid-19 patient I was sick, but my wife was worried sick," he said.

"His wife will need something to fight for, and so will he when he wakes up.

I don't know Mr Murphy personally, but when he wakes up and sees all the comments, it will take him hours to read. That's going to be a lovely way to get the day in when you're still isolating in a room Pastor Mark McClurg

"What she needs right now is something to hold on to because she can't hold the hand of her husband.

"Every message is an act of kindness and will give her strength to get through the next hour. This is not about getting through a day, it's getting through an hour."

He continued: "That's why I've been telling people on social media to be kind. I've been getting thousands of messages from people rooting for me all around the world and it really does something for your spirit.

"I don't know Mr Murphy personally, but when he wakes up and sees all the comments, it will take him hours to read. That's going to be a lovely way to get the day in when you're still isolating in a room."

Over the weekend, former Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney called Mr Murphy a "first-class lawyer" and advocate for human rights.

"Our thoughts are with him and his family, because for them at this very moment this is their husband, father, son, brother fighting for his life," he said.

"He is in the care of our health professionals, whose names we don't know, but we do know of their courage and dedication."

SDLP Foyleside councillor Mary Durkan added: "Hoping his indomitable spirit - so evident in Niall's professional career, as well as his various other pursuits and leadership roles - helps him pull through in the days ahead."

Last week, Mr Winters said his colleague would want everyone to protect their families and NHS staff by following the advice to stay at home.

As a GAA mentor, he said Mr Murphy would especially encourage young people to stay indoors and use social media to contact friends and family.

Belfast Telegraph