‘We did it for Charlene’

Gaelscoil Ni Dhochartaigh, Strabane. 0910JM36
Gaelscoil Ni Dhochartaigh, Strabane. 0910JM36
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When Steelstown Brian Ogs player Charlene Griffiths passed away earlier this year the school that she had been teaching in up until she became ill decided that they wanted to do something special to remember the girl they describe as “amazingly passionate’.

On Friday, the staff of the Gaelscoil in Strabane and members of the Derry County Board hosted a GAA football blitz in Steelstown and many of the schools that Charlene had worked in attended.

Colm Millar, Louiise Collins with Charlene Griffiths and Simon Collins when they attended the Bagatelle concert in the Forum this week.  (2412jB10)

Colm Millar, Louiise Collins with Charlene Griffiths and Simon Collins when they attended the Bagatelle concert in the Forum this week. (2412jB10)

“Charlene taught at our school right up until she became sick,” said Gaelscoil Uí Dhochartaigh , Strabane principal Máire Ní Dhochartaigh.

“We did it for Charlene. Charlene was amazingly passionate about the Irish language and football so we decided that we wanted to do something to celebrate her life so we came up with the idea of a Gaelic football blitz.

“About a third of all of the Irish schools in the North were at the blitz on Friday. It was so well attended - we even had teams from Letterkenny, Buncrana, Belfast and Crossmaglen.

“It’s important that Charlene’s family and her fiancé, Simon Collins, get to see how much Charlene meant to so many people. She was a special girl and will always be missed.”

Máire said that the event was a success because of the help given by the Derry County Board and suggested that if all goes well they intend to make the blitz an annual occurrence.

“Charlene taught in Ballycastle and in the Bunscoil Cholmcille in Derry - they were at Friday’s event too - I think that shows how much people think of Charlene.

“I’d really like to thank the Derry County Board for all of their help. Quigg’s Fruit and Veg from Skeoge Industrial Estate and Sainsbury’s on the Strand Road provided the refreshments so we’d like to thank them too.

“It was a great day and I was delighted we got to celebrate Charlene’s life. It was so well attended and everyone had such a great time that we’ll probably make it annual event,” she said.