Belfast Telegraph

Devastated families of Belfast boys Eoin Hamill and Cillian Draine prepare to say final farewells ahead of funerals

Floral tributes to Eoin Hamill
Floral tributes to Eoin Hamill
Cillian Draine
Ambulances attend another accident on the Springfield Road yesterday
Claire McNeilly

By Claire McNeilly

The heartbroken families of two young Belfast boys who died in separate tragedies three days ago are preparing to say their final farewells ahead of their funerals tomorrow.

A vigil was held last night for talented amateur boxer Eoin Hamill (13) who was riding his bike when he was knocked down in west Belfast on Friday.

The popular year nine pupil at Colaiste Feirste Irish-medium school in the west of the city was in collision with a four-wheel-drive vehicle as he cycled close to the junction of the Springfield Road and Monagh Road.

Floral wreaths from relatives were laid to mark the spot where the collision took place, which was also the scene of a two-vehicle crash yesterday afternoon.

Two people were taken to hospital afterwards, an Ambulance Service spokesman said. He said it happened "at the corner of Norglen Parade and the Springfield Road, within yards of Friday's collision".

Despite his youth, Eoin, who was from Turf Lodge estate, was a talented boxer, representing Co Antrim. Olympic boxing medallist Paddy Barnes and former World Champion Carl Frampton paid tribute to the Gleann Amateur Club member and offered condolences to Eoin's parents Lisa and Marty. His funeral will take place at Holy Trinity Church at 10am tomorrow.

A man arrested has been released on bail pending further enquiries and last night detectives issued a fresh appeal for witnesses to the collision that claimed Eoin's life on January 3.

In a separate tragic incident in Belfast, Cillian Draine (11) died suddenly at his Salisbury Avenue home in north Belfast.

Like Eoin, Cillian was also involved in amateur boxing.

Last night Belfast boxer Michael Conlan said he was fundraising for Cillian's family.

He tweeted: "I'm going to do another auction to help raise funds for the funeral of the family of young boxer, 11-year-old Cillian Draine... our youth need our help, anyone suffering speak up, it's OK to talk!"

Last night, Sinn Fein MP John Finucane said he has requested an urgent meeting with health officials over recent suicides in north Belfast.

"I personally know members of one of the families affected by a very young man's tragic and untimely death. My heart goes out to all of the families involved," he said. "Mental health is a major source of concern and one which I intend to prioritise."

He said a party delegation wants "an immediate meeting with the Chief Executive of Belfast Trust and the Public Health Agency, and the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health, for emergency discussions due to a number of deaths by suicide in north Belfast in recent days".

Cillian's funeral will take place at St Therese of Lisieux Church in north Belfast tomorrow. He is survived by mum Mary, dad Mick and brothers Fiontan and Michael.

If you have been affected by any issues in this article, please contact the Samaritans free on 116123 or Lifeline on 080 8808 8000

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