Club hosting event in memory of three who tragically died

Club hosting event in memory of three who tragically died

8 May 2019

THE tragic deaths of a young mother and two best friends have inspired a special fundraising event organised by Bryansford GAC later this month. 

The Newcastle club lost three people connected closely with it over the St Patrick’s Day weekend in two separate incidents in Carlingford, Co Louth.

Mother-of-three Ruth Maguire, from Newcastle, was recovered from Carlingford harbour on March 18, one day after she became separated from a group of friends on a hen party night out.

Friends Shane McAnallen, from Castlewellan, and Martin Patterson, from Bryansford, who were both in their twenties, died on the same day when their car crashed near the Cooley Peninsula.

Proceeds raised from the family fun day at the club’s St Patrick’s Park grounds on Saturday, May 25, will go to four local organisations — Newcastle RNLI, the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team, the Search and Rescue Dog Association and Air Ambulance NI.

Ms Maguire, who was due to be married in St Malachy’s Church in Castlewellan this August, had been a juvenile coach with the club in recent years.

Mr Patterson was a long-time member of the club and had played in the previous season, while Mr McAnallen had been a youth player. 

The idea to hold a family fun day was suggested by Ms Maguire’s partner, Jim Griffin, after he was asked by the club how it could support him and his three children, Tyler, Lydia and Oliver.

Mr Griffin wanted nothing for himself but said that he would like to raise money for the group who found Ms Maguire, who was recovered from by Newcastle RNLI after an extensive multi-agency and cross-border search.

The fundraising day is being organised as a cross-community, family-friendly event that also gives the public a chance to meet members of local emergency services who gave tirelessly of their time to help others.

It will start off with a children’s football blitz tournament at 10am and there will be face painting and gymnastic display, as well as sporting and fun challenges, a search dog demonstration and a barbecue until 3pm. It will be followed by an evening event with live music and a charity raffle at the social club.

All three people who lost their lives were very popular with work colleagues and friends alike.

Friends of Mr Patterson and Mr McAnallen have organised a vintage car rally as their support for the day.

A local Harley Davidson group is also hoping to bring their bikes to display for motorcycle enthusiasts.

Ms Maguire (32), who was originally from North Belfast, was a school nursing assistant and was active in the parents’ group at St Mary’s Primary School in Newcastle.

Local bands are lining up to play at the event to show their support and individuals and businesses are contributing items for the evening raffle.

The event has the blessing of all three families and Mr Griffin is organising a 50-seater coach to bring down family members and friends from Ligoneil for the day.