Belfast Telegraph

Tributes to Tyrone GAA fan who drowned in Liffey plunge

By Adrian Rutherford

Tributes have been paid to a Tyrone GAA fan who drowned in the River Liffey just hours after seeing his beloved county play at Croke Park.

Aidan Mullan had been in Dublin to watch Tyrone's All-Ireland qualifier win over Roscommon when the tragic accident occurred.

It is understood he fell into the river after losing his footing on the pavement during the early hours of Sunday morning.

Mr Mullan, who was 35, had been living in Dromore in Tyrone, but was originally from the Tattyreagh area. He was walking along Butt Bridge in the Burgh Quay area of the city at 3.40am when the accident happened.

Four men dived in to try and rescue him while they awaited emergency services. All five were taken to St James' Hospital in Dublin, but Mr Mullan was pronounced dead a short time later. The other four were treated for minor injuries.

Mr Mullan got married last year and he and his wife Nicola were due to celebrate their first anniversary on August 19.

Parish priest Father Patrick MacEntee, who officiated at their marriage, said the whole community had been numbed by the tragedy.

"It is just awful, it's very tragic for the whole family circle," he said. "Nicola is just devastated by what's happened.

"He had been in Dublin for the football, he was a big Tyrone supporter and used to play GAA for Tattyreagh.

"He was a very enthusiastic supporter. Both Aidan and Nicola's families, and even their wider families, all live in the locality.

"It is a big family circle and Aidan would have been very well-known."

The funeral has been delayed because a bank holiday in the Republic yesterday meant the post-mortem examination could not be held. Mr Mullan, who worked in the construction industry, was a life-long GAA fan and member of Tattyreagh St Patrick's club.

He had played for all levels and was a member of its 1988 league-winning team. Martin Cartin from the club said his death was a huge loss to the community.

"He played an awful lot of football and has been a valued member of our club for many years, as have all the family," he said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mullan family. It has been a huge loss to the family, to the community and to our club in particular."

Local Sinn Fein councillor Glenn Campbell, who knew Mr Mullan, said his death had come as a "devastating blow" to the community.

A Garda spokesman said they were treating his death as a "tragic accident".

Belfast Telegraph


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