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Hundreds pay tribute to Oscar in Derry city centre

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Hundreds of people have released coloured balloons in Derry’s city centre in memory of wee Oscar Knox.

Crowds gathered in the sunshine on Tuesday evening for the event, which was organised by local man Davy McConnell.

Mr McConnell said he was delighted at the turnout for the event.

He said he had wanted to give local people the chance to celebrate Oscar’s unifying impact on the community during his short life.

The five-year-old died from childhood cancer neuroblastoma two weeks ago.

Large posters featuring the message ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, Oscar’s favourite Peter Pan and a collage of photographs of him were hung from the buildings around Guildhall Square last night.

The posters were put together by big-hearted young people from Youth First in the Bogside.

Mr McConnell (27) thanked those who had turned up to the cross-community event.

Money collected during the event will go towards the ‘Wee Oscar Knox’ campaign, which has been highlighting not just Oscar’s battle, but that of other children across the north who are living with cancer.

Among those attending the event were Waterside women Angela Clements, Caroline Moore and Sharon Curry.

They said they wanted to attend to pay their respects to “a wee legend” who “touched so many hearts.”

“It is totally unbelievable the courage he had,” Ms Moore said.

Deirdre Conaghan from the Bogside attended the event with her daughter Erin and grandsons Caidin and Xavier.

She said: “I thought it was important to show the support for wee Oscar and his family, the strength they have shown, and let them know we are all still thinking about them.

“I am sure they are still hurting and an event like this is important so we can show our support for them.”

The tribute event was the second Derry-wide tribute to Oscar since his passing.

Just after his death the Derry skyline was dotted with dozens of Chinese lanterns set off across the city at twilight.

Young Derry City FC fans also received praise from across Ireland and beyond when they unfurled their own banners paying tribute to little Oscar after is death.

Since then, tens of thousands of people have also ‘liked’ a new Facebook page set up to get Oscar nominated for this year’s Pride of Britain Awards.

 

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