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Family friends set up fundraising page after death of Lurgan man Odhran O’Neill

More than £6,000 raised in first seven hours of page being set up

Odhran O'Neill

A fundraising page has been set up to raise money for a Lurgan family following the tragic death of their son and brother Odhran O’Neill.

The 22-year-old, who lived in the Antrim Road area of the town, died after his kayak capsized in Thailand.

Odhran was last seen in Khao Sok National Park on Saturday.

It was reported that he said he would swim to the shore but when he failed to appear, searches were launched to find him.

His uncle David O’Dowd told the BBC his nephew was only 15ft from a jetty when the boat capsized.

He said the former Lismore Comprehensive College pupil had taken a break from an apprenticeship in Newry to fly to Thailand with a friend last week, and the pair had planned to travel for a few months.

Odhran was the son of Maurice and Claire and brother to Michaela.

Michaela, following his death, posted: “Odhran’s life has been cut short and far too early. He was out seeing the world and living his best life as what we all have wanted for him.

“He will be remembered as a strong, charming and all around the best boy. Thank you to everyone has shared and we appreciate all the effort but he is now with the angels. I love you forever big bro. Forever in my heart ❤️😣 Xxx.”

The fundraising initiative has been organised by Claire’s friends and colleagues Fiona Patterson and Bebhionn Hardy.

They wrote: “We’re hoping to raise money for the O’Neill family after the sad loss of their son Odhran who passed away in a tragic accident abroad.

“Any donations would be more than appreciated to try and support the O’Neill family through this devastating time.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.

“Forever 22.”

Within just several hours of being set up, the GoFundMe page had already raised more than £6,000.

Funeral details have not been released yet.

A death notice read: “Our hearts are broken. Odhran will be deeply missed by the entire O’Neill and O’Dowd circle of family and friends.

“Family flowers only please, donations in lieu if desired to, The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, c/o McAlinden & Murtagh Funeral Directors, 2 North Street, Lurgan. Telephone: 02838 324404.”

Donations can be made via the Odhran O’Neill GoFundMe page.

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