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Communities ‘devastated’ at death of popular footballer Josh (19) in tragic accident

A Co Tyrone teenager who died in an accident in Banbridge yesterday (Tuesday) has been described as a talented footballer who was very popular and highly thought of.

Josh Griggs (19), who lived in Newmills, was working on a summer job in the Foxleigh Fields area of  Banbridge when he was involved in an accident with a lorry shortly after 1pm.

Josh, who played for Brackaville Owen Roes GAC, was a member of a well-known and respected local family and tributes have been flooding in since yesterday’s tragedy.

UUP councillor Robert Colvin said he was still in shock at the news.

“The community feel like they have lost a son,” he said. “Everyone is just devastated. I didn’t believe it when I heard the news and I still don’t want to believe it.

“Josh was very well thought of and he comes from a much-loved and highly respected family.

“His dad Andy does a huge amount of work for the community and was instrumental in setting up the Newmills garden and bringing communities together.

“We feel so bad for the family. When your child goes out to work in the morning, you expect them to come back again.”

Torrent SDLP councillor Malachy Quinn said he had first met Josh’s dad just three weeks ago and “he was very proud of his sons”.

“Josh was a very popular young fella, a very talented footballer and was very well thought of in Newmills and Brackaville,” he said.

“I can’t imagine the pain his family is feeling but it is a pain that is shared throughout both communities. The GAA club will be there to help the family in whatever way it can.”

Linda Dillon, Sinn Féin MLA for Mid Ulster, said it was awful to lose a child but to lose a child in such tragic circumstances was “unbearable”.

“Our thoughts are with his family and the communities of Newmills and Brackaville Owen Roes,” she added.

Banbridge Alliance councillor Brian Pope offered his sincere sympathies to the family.

“It is desperately upsetting news that a young life has been lost, and my thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends affected at this sad time,” he said.

In a post on their Facebook page, Mid-Ulster Athletic Club said it was a “great shock” to learn of the sudden death of Josh – older brother of their member Nick.

“Josh had an outstanding athletic talent and took part in his younger days in our Star Track Summer Camp but his talent took him to Gaelic football, where I understand he was a rising star. He will be greatly missed,” said secretary Barrie Holmes.

Dozens of messages of condolence have also been posted on the Brackaville Owen Roes GAC Facebook page.

Enquiries are ongoing, and police are appealing for any witnesses to contact them on 101, quoting reference number 845 of 08/06/21.

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