Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland star McGinn dedicates Euro 2020 qualifier goal to Greenvale victims to bring 'shred of light to our devastated community'

Niall McGinn wore a black arm band in honour of those killed in Greenvale Hotel tragedy. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Niall McGinn wore a black arm band in honour of those killed in Greenvale Hotel tragedy. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland footballer Niall McGinn wears a black armband during last night’s match at Windsor Park in memory of the victims
Floral tributes left outside the gates of the Greenvale Hotel yesterday
A floral tribute left outside the gates of the Greenvale Hotel yesterday
Lauren Bullock
Morgan Barnard
Connor Currie

By Staff Reporter

Northern Ireland football hero Niall McGinn has spoken of his pain at the tragic deaths of three children in Cookstown on St Patrick's night.

McGinn, who scored first in Northern Ireland's 2-0 victory in the Euro 2020 qualifier, dedicated his goal to his devastated community. McGinn is from Donaghmore and started his football career at Dungannon Swifts.

Lauren Bullock (17), Connor Currie (16) and Morgan Barnard (17), who died in the tragedy, went to school in Dungannon.

The Aberdeen winger, whose sister was a neighbour of Lauren, said: "I was devastated when I heard the news. It was in the back of my mind to do well in the game against Estonia and score a goal and thankfully I did that.

"The little girl only lives two doors down from my sister and it is so, so sad what happened. My sister was down at the house the other day and my mum has been along as well. I saw the remains coming home and it has been a desperate time for all the families involved.

"I have spoken to a lot of people and everyone in Donaghmore is devastated, and if me doing well and scoring a goal on the international stage can bring any sort of shed of light to the local community that is good. It was an important goal for Northern Ireland, but it was for my local community as well."

Floral tributes have been laid at the Greenvale Hotel in memory of the teenagers.

A candlelit vigil at the Spar shop on Portadown's Garvaghy Road has been organised for 7pm on Sunday.

It is understood the mother of Connor Currie is from Portadown and has family in the area.

Last night a GoFundMe page set up to help the families had raised almost £9,000 - more than four times its initial target.

Northern Ireland's Niall McGinn scores in action during the Euro Qualifier at Windsor Park on March 21th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Northern Ireland's Niall McGinn scores in action during the Euro Qualifier at Windsor Park on March 21th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 21: Steve Davis of Northern Ireland scores during the 2020 UEFA European Championships group C qualifying match between Northern Ireland and Estonia at Windsor Park on March 21, 2019 in Belfast, United Kingdom. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Steven Davis scores his side's second goal of the game from the penalty spot during the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying, Group C match at Windsor Park, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 21, 2019. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. No commercial use.
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 21: Steve Davis of Northern Ireland celebrates with team mates after scoring during the 2020 UEFA European Championships group C qualifying match between Northern Ireland and Estonia at Windsor Park on March 21, 2019 in Belfast, United Kingdom. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Niall McGinn scores in action during the Euro Qualifier at Windsor Park on March 21th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Northern Ireland's Niall McGinn scores in action during the Euro Qualifier at Windsor Park on March 21th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Northern Ireland's Niall McGinn scores in action during the Euro Qualifier at Windsor Park on March 21th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Northern Ireland's Niall McGinn scores in action during the Euro Qualifier at Windsor Park on March 21th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Northern Ireland's Niall McGinn scores in action during the Euro Qualifier at Windsor Park on March 21th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Northern Ireland's Niall McGinn scores in action during the Euro Qualifier at Windsor Park on March 21th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Niall McGinn opened the scoring for Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland's George Saville rues a missed chance during the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying, Group C match at Windsor Park, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 21, 2019. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. No commercial use.
Northern Ireland's Jamal Lewis and Estonia's Nikita Baranov in action during the Euro Qualifier at Windsor Park on March 21th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Northern Ireland's Jamal Lewis and Estonia's Nikita Baranov in action during the Euro Qualifier at Windsor Park on March 21th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Northern Ireland's George Saville and Estonia's Nikita Baranov in action during the Euro Qualifier at Windsor Park on March 21th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Northern Ireland's Jamal Lewis , Jonny Evans and Estonia's Henri Anier in action during the Euro Qualifier at Windsor Park on March 21th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Northern Ireland's George Saville and Estonia's Gert Kams in action during the Euro Qualifier at Windsor Park on March 21th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Northern Ireland's team in action during the Euro Qualifier at Windsor Park on March 21th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Northern Ireland's George Saville and Estonia's Gert Kams in action during the Euro Qualifier at Windsor Park on March 21th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 21st March 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fan Logan McCrubb ,8, from Antrim during Thursday night's UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying match at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park,Belfast Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 21st March 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland James and Trevor Fleming from Ballyclare during Thursday night's UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying match at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park,Belfast Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 21st March 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland Stephen, Sandra and Gordon Black from Cookstown during Thursday night's UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying match at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park,Belfast Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st March 2019 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Corry Evans before Thursday nights UEFA Euro Qualifier against Estonia at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 21st March 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland Eddie King from Lisburn during Thursday night's UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying match at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park,Belfast Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 21st March 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland Cate and Justin Turner during Thursday night's UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying match at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park,Belfast Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st March 2019 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland with Estonia during Thursday nights UEFA Euro Qualifier at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st March 2019 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland with Estonia during Thursday nights UEFA Euro Qualifier at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st March 2019 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill before Thursday nights UEFA Euro Qualifier against Estonia at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st March 2019 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Craig Cathcart with Estonia's Madis Vihmann during Thursday nights UEFA Euro Qualifier at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st March 2019 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair with Estonia's Joonas Tamm during Thursday nights UEFA Euro Qualifier at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Pacemaker Belfast 21-3-19 Northern Ireland v Estonia - Euro 2020 Qualifier Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty and Estonia's Sergei Lepmets during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 21-3-19 Northern Ireland v Estonia - Euro 2020 Qualifier Estonia's Artur Pikk and Northern Ireland's Niall McGinn during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 21-3-19 Northern Ireland v Estonia - Euro 2020 Qualifier Northern Ireland's Steven Davis and Estonia's Mattias Kait during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland team group. Top row (left to right) Kyle Lafferty, Craig Cathcart, George Saville, Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Jonny Evans and Paddy McNair. Bottom row (left to right) Steven Davis, Jamal Lewis, Niall McGinn, Jordan Jones and Stuart Dallas during the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying, Group C match at Windsor Park, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 21, 2019. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. No commercial use.
General view of the pitch ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying, Group C match at Windsor Park, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 21, 2019. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. No commercial use.
Northern Ireland Manager Michael O'Neill gestures on the touchline during the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying, Group C match at Windsor Park, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 21, 2019. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. No commercial use.
Estonia's Gert Kams (left) and Northern Ireland's Jordan Jones battle for the ball during the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying, Group C match at Windsor Park, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 21, 2019. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. No commercial use.
Northern Ireland's Jamal Lewis during the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying, Group C match at Windsor Park, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 21, 2019. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. No commercial use.
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 21: Stuart Dallas of Northern Ireland takes on the Estonia defense during the 2020 UEFA European Championships group C qualifying match between Northern Ireland and Estonia at Windsor Park on March 21, 2019 in Belfast, United Kingdom. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 21: Stuart Dallas of Northern Ireland clashes Henrik Ojamaa of Estonia with during the 2020 UEFA European Championships group C qualifying match between Northern Ireland and Estonia at Windsor Park on March 21, 2019 in Belfast, United Kingdom. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 21: Michael O'Neill, Manager of Northern Ireland during the 2020 UEFA European Championships group C qualifying match between Northern Ireland and Estonia at Windsor Park on March 21, 2019 in Belfast, United Kingdom. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

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Morgan Barnard, Lauren Bullock and Connor Currie.
Morgan Barnard, Lauren Bullock and Connor Currie.

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