Community stunned following death of talented young GAA player

A close-knit Co Tyrone community has been plunged into grief following the death of a talented young GAA star.

Joshua Griggs, 19, from Newmills, just outside Coalisland[1] died following an incident involving a lorry in the Foxleigh Fields area of Banbridge on Tuesday, June 8.

Police and emergency services attended however, the teenager was pronounced dead at the scene.

A talented young GAA star, known to friends as Josh, was awarded Reserve Player of the Year for his club Brackaville Owen Roes just a few weeks ago.

In a statement, the club said Joshua would be remembered with the ‘greatest affection by all’.

A spokesperson said: “As a club and community, we are deeply saddened and devastated to hear of the tragic passing of our much loved and highly thought of player Joshua Griggs.

“To Andy, Royanne and Nick, we convey our deepest and heartfelt sympathies.

“Josh will forever be remembered with the greatest affection by all associated with our club. He was simply just a great lad, both on and off the field. He will be remembered as a courteous and appreciative young man, grateful of life and the opportunities given to him.

“He excelled at youth level for our club, in the Tyrone GAA[2] Academy and last year was a standout performer in the Senior Championship, after late call up as starter.

“Only a few weeks ago, Josh was awarded our 2020 Reserve Player of the Year and looked forward to this season and seasons ahead. No-one could wipe his infectious smile from his face that day.”

The statement continued: “As a coach and mentor to our U15 team, Josh was a prime example of what any young player should aspire to be. He had so much pride and love for his team and club and as a club, we could not have been any prouder of him.

“Josh was extremely friendly, pleasant, and talented and will always be remembered by all connected with Brackaville Owen Roes and the wider community as such an amazing young man and a true credit to his family.

“We are all in shock at Josh’s untimely passing, a friend, talented player, and such a wonderful young man.”

The Club has also said it will ensure Joshua’s friends and teammates have the support needed following his untimely passing.

“Should any of our young people need any assistance or someone to speak to in the time ahead, our Clubrooms will be open each evening to facilitate anyone who wishes to meet up with their friends, team-mates, and coaches.

“As a club, it is important that we keep together and support each other through this difficult time. Our club rooms are open for everyone in the community, and any further details will follow,” they added.

Local SDLP[3] councillor for the area Malachy Quinn said the entire community is in shock following the tragedy.

Cllr Quinn told Belfast Live: “I want to first offer my condolences to the Griggs family on the tragic death of their son Josh. I can’t imagine the pain that they are going through but I know it is a pain that is felt right across the town and the community as a whole. One look at social media and you will see how highly regarded Josh was by his friends and by his teammates at Brackaville GFC.

“He was a talented athlete and his family is well known for their cross-community work something that earned them the respect of everyone they met. We are all in shock at this news and I know the community in Brackaville and Newmills will rally around the family at this time and support them in any way they can. “

References

  1. ^ Coalisland (www.belfastlive.co.uk)
  2. ^ Tyrone GAA (www.belfastlive.co.uk)
  3. ^ SDLP (www.belfastlive.co.uk)