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£50k raised for KBRT in memory of Niall Quinn

April 4, 2016

A charitable campaign set up in honour of tragic Silverbridge man Niall Quinn, who was killed in a boat accident in Australia in January, has donated a massive £50,000 to the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust (KBRT), the Newry based organisation which provided considerable assistance in returning Niall’s remains home to his heartbroken family.

The 25 year old carpenter died after falling from a houseboat moored on the Murray River, near the border between New South Wales and Victoria.  He had hired the boat with a group of friends.  However tragedy struck when he slipped and fell from the top deck of the vessel, hitting his head before entering the water.  Despite frantic efforts from his friends, who dived into the water in a bid to save him, Niall’s body was recovered by police divers some hours later.

The death of the hugely popular local man numbed the entire south Armagh community, where Niall and his family are very well-known and respected, and sent shockwaves through his huge circle of friends in Australia and beyond.

In the wake of the tragedy, Niall’s boss in Australia, Trevor Meegan, set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the KBRT, with a target of target of Aus$10,000. But an unprecedented response of generosity led to donations reaching over $50,000 in the first 15 hours, and in just three weeks a staggering $85,000 had been raised.

Since then a total of $115,000 has been donated – via contribution made in Australia and Ireland to the GoFund Me page – and the proceeds of a fundraising night held in Melbourne.  A portion of the money raised was also sent to the Echuca Search & Rescue Team who recovered Niall’s body from the Murray River.

Brothers Martin and Thomas Ferris present a cheque for £50,000 to Colin and Eithne Bell of the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust in memory of their late friend Niall Quinn, Silverbridge. A fundraisier was held in Austrialia by a good friends of Niall . Also in the picture are Niall’s brothers Gary and Aodhan.

Last week, Niall’s brothers, Aodhan and Gary, together with his friends from Australia, Thomas and Martin Ferris, met with Collie and Eithne Bell of the KBRT to hand over a cheque for £50,000.

Niall’s parents, Anthony and Deirdre, said the Quinn family have been “overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and generosity” which sparked the amazing total raised in Niall’s memory.

“There will never be enough words to express our gratitude to Colin and his fantastic charity for their kindness and generosity,” they added.

“The incredible support and guidance they showed to our family in getting Niall home and in such a short time frame.”

Thanking everyone who contributed to the fundraising, Colin Bell, founder of the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust said, “We are astounded at the goodness and generosity of people, in this case the family and friends of Niall Quinn.  Their generosity will help so many other families who will suffer the heartbreak that the Quinn family, and so many other families, have.”

Niall’s family and friends are holding a fundraising night in his memory on Saturday 16th July in Silverbridge GFC, also in aid of the KBRT.

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