Drumsurn grief over Keelan


Shocked classmates, teammates, friends and family of crash victim Keelan Mullan will say their final goodbyes to the “well loved” 17 year-old when he is laid to rest tomorrow.

The promising young Gaelic footballer was killed on Saturday morning when his silver Renault Clio car was involved in a collision with a tractor at Drumsurn Road not far from his home.

Scene of the fatal crash close to Drumsurn in Co-Derry on Saturday where 17 years old Keelan Mullan was killed. Picture margaret McLaughlin �  3-3-13

Scene of the fatal crash close to Drumsurn in Co-Derry on Saturday where 17 years old Keelan Mullan was killed. Picture margaret McLaughlin � 3-3-13

The Drumsurn teenager’s death has sent shock waves through the local community which has rallied around his devastated family. The spot where the collision occurred has been marked by two GAA shirts from local clubs he had played for - a red and white jersey from his club St Matthew’s GAC and a green and white jersey from St Patrick’s GAC, which he played for previously.

His former schoolmates at St Mary’s, Limavady yesterday united in grief at a special assembly to pay tribute to the “excellent” young man.

Principal Mary McCloskey told the Journal: “This is a tragic loss to Keelan’s family and to the school community. Keelan was a sixth form student who was excellent in every way. He was always pleasant, hard working and mannerly. Keelan was a very quiet pupil who enjoyed the company of his many friends. He was a stalwart member of the school Gaelic team and displayed previously hidden talents in last year’s production of ‘I have a dream’.”

The school has made counselling support available to pupils “to talk about their thoughts and feelings” with staff from the WELB’s Critical Incident Response Team, Mrs McCloskey explained.

“A letter has been sent by the school to parents, informing them of this tragic incident and providing information on the support services available through the school,” she added.

A book of condolence has also been opened at the school and is “available for all to sign”.

“Year 13 and 14 pupils will attend Keelan’s Requiem Mass on Wednesday to say goodbye to a well-loved classmate and friend,” Mrs McCloskey added.

The teenager’s godmother Janette Robinson said the teenager’s parents were “in pieces” following the tragedy. “It’s such a loss. It’s just shocking news.”

She paid tribute to her godson. “He was such a model wee son. He was perfect and he loved his mum and dad and family so much, and he was always thankful for everything.”

She described Keelan as a “quiet 17 year-old” who was very happy at school. “He kept himself to himself quite a lot but his friends were very important to him as well.” She added that he was a “dedicated wee student” at school.

Colm Feeney, manager of St Matthew’s GAC, said Keelan “had the manners of a saint”.

“He had great character. He was very hard working and dedicated to his game. He will be sorely missed. Words can’t describe how we feel. It’s so hard to take in. A life has been taken at such a young age.”

Keelan had been a member of the minor team at St Matthews and was expected to break into the senior ranks at the club this year.

Keelan is to be laid to rest tomorrow following Requiem Mass at St Matthew’s Church in Drumsurn at 12 noon.