Gaelic footballer Aaron Devlin dies from meningitis

Aaron Devlin
Aaron Devlin

A young gaelic footballer from Londonderry has died from meningitis a week after contracting the brain virus strain.

Aaron Devlin, a 23-year-old physiotherapist who played for Ballinderry Shamrocks and Derry, was taken to Antrim Area Hospital last Friday.

Three days earlier he had come off the pitch 40 minutes into a match against Dromore saying he was too tired to continue.

In a statement posted online, his club said: “From the first time you pulled the blue and white jersey over your shoulders Aaron you were one of us, you will always be one of us.”

Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin also spoke of her shock at the news.

“This is a tragedy which will impact across the whole community and I offer my heartfelt condolences to his family, his friends and his colleagues at Ballinderry Shamrocks.

“It is difficult to believe that just last week he was lining out for his beloved Ballinderry and that now he is gone from our midst. The GAA playing fields will be all the poorer without him.”

Ulster GAA president Martin McAviney said: “Aaron’s death is an unimaginable loss for both his family and his community.

“Ulster GAA offers them and all Aaron’s many teammates our support at this difficult time and express our sincere sympathy on their loss.

“People throughout Ulster and Ireland will remember Aaron wearing either the Ballinderry or Derry jersey.”