Belfast Telegraph

GAA star's grief at flu death of brother-in-law

Christoper Colhoun
Christoper Colhoun
Mourning: Connor McAliskey

By Declan Bogue

A heartbroken Tyrone GAA star has spoken publicly for the first time about the tragic death of a dedicated teacher he regarded as a brother.

Christoper Colhoun, a popular footballer, passed away suddenly on January 8 just 24 hours after being admitted to hospital with a severe strain of flu. The 33-year-old father-of-two, who played for Pomeroy Plunketts and had made the Tyrone senior panel, had recently been appointed vice-principal of St Patrick's Primary School in Donaghmore.

The community in his native Pomeroy and everyone in Clonoe, where he lived with wife Lisa and young daughters Grace and Beth, are still reeling from their unimaginable loss.

In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, his distraught brother-in-law Connor McAliskey, a key player for Tyrone, struggled to express the depth of his bereavement.

"It's difficult; the shock... how sudden it was," he said.

"I had got very close to Christopher.

"It was a big shock how it happened, it's scary to think it's a month already."

He was speaking after a service in the Church of the Assumption in Pomeroy to mark a month since the devoted dad and husband was taken from their lives.

He revealed how Christopher lived near him in the same housing estate and how he was welcomed into the fold by his in-laws when he was growing up, long before he married Lisa four years ago.

"Every day he would have been ringing Daddy," recalled Connor. "He never tried to force himself into the family, he just slotted right in.

"Mummy and Daddy thought he was a great lad, and he was just like a brother to me."

See Sport for full interview, page 46

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