Belfast Telegraph

Football club pay tribute after father-of-three killed in bike smash

By Adrian Rutherford

A football club has paid tribute to a fan killed in a motorbike accident in Co Armagh.

Barrie Meneely (44), from The Hollows in Lurgan, died in the crash near Loughgall yesterday.

It happened at the junction of the Lissheffield Road and Red Lion Road at about 10.25am. No other vehicle was involved.

The father-of-three was a supporter of Dungannon Swifts.

The club said it had been left devastated by the tragedy.

Dungannon head coach Rodney McAree said: "Barrie was very highly thought of, a great lad with a tremendous wit.

"He was a very popular figure among supporters. It's a massive loss for everyone around the club, but first and foremost our thoughts are with Barrie's family.

"We have a small but loyal support base and people know each other. Barrie was the heart and soul of the club. He was a great guy to be around and we are all very, very sad at this loss."

A tribute released by Dungannon Swifts described how Mr Meneely was thrilled to see the club lift its first major trophy three weeks ago.

"His young son, Alfie, led the Swifts team out on the pitch as mascot at the BetMcLean League Cup final against Ballymena.

"This was an extremely proud moment for Barrie and his wife Emma, watching their wee man beaming with pride," it said.

"Barrie was a proud and delighted Swifts fan that day, with his beloved club winning their first major trophy and also Alfie being a mascot brought him even more joy.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, especially to his wife Emma and three children, Alex, Charlotte and Alfie, and to his father Johnny who attended all Swifts games with him, his mother Noleen and sister Toni."

DUP MLA Carla Lockhart described the news as "devastating", calling Mr Meneely "a true gentleman".

PSNI sergeant Nick Browne said: "The collision, involving a motorcycle, occurred at around 10.25am at the junction of the Lissheffield Road and Red Lion Road in Loughgall.

"The 44-year-old male driver of the bike, who was from the local area, died as a result of his injuries sustained in the collision."

He appealed for anyone with information about the accident to contact police in Lurgan on 101, quoting reference number 365 of 09/03/18.

Belfast Telegraph

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