Tyrone GAA star opens up about brother killed in A5 crash – Football News

Tyrone GAA star opens up about brother killed in A5 crash

Caolan Devlin, 30, died in March following an accident between his BMW and a lorry on the Curr Road stretch of the A5 between Omagh and Ballygawley.

Speaking on the BBC’s GAA Social podcast, Niall Devlin admitted he is scared when driving up on the same part of the motorway, which links Londonderry with Aughnacloy in Co Tyrone, and has claimed over 50 lives since 2006.

“We’d played Kerry the weekend before in the League,” said Devlin, describing the day he found out his brother has been killed.

“On the Tuesday night, I was talking to Caolan that day, as you do any day.

“We’d training that night with Tyrone and we were sitting for food after, as we always do. I think it was Paddy the caretaker who came in and said, ‘boys whoever is going Omagh direction you need to take a detour, there has been a massive car accident, the police have the whole road closed off’.

“You’re thinking ‘not again, not another family’. . . obviously you’re never thinking it would be your own.”

Caolan’s death happened on the same day that the Assembly heard pleas for an upgrade of the A5 – one of the most dangerous roads in Northern Ireland – to proceed urgently with Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd later saying progressing the A5 is his top priority.

Niall said he soon received a call from his father who told him to “get home urgently” and said he could hear his mother crying in the background of the call.

“I got into the house and every single member of my family was there and I broke down. . . when I caught eyes with my dad he said Caolan had passed,” added Niall.

“I got home at 9pm and next time I looked at the clock it was 5am. It is a night you will never forget; it will live forever in your memory. You just have to learn to deal with it.

“At that time, I went into Caolan’s room and sat there distraught. Ones were coming in and out, but you can’t even remember at times who came in and out.

“That night Caolan returned home, that was a tough night as that’s when it really hit, I didn’t get a wink of sleep. I think that was one of the hardest moments – the undertakers coming in and calling us in to see Caolan. That’s when it really all hit for me.

“It was a really tough moment, when they opened up the coffin, seeing your brother lying there. It just took the soul out of you nearly at that moment.”

Niall also said he soon had to drive on the same stretch of the road following his brother’s death and admitted he was “scared.”

“Driving up the road to training, I had never been as scared driving in my life, because of the road and everything that happened and seeing all that,” said Niall.

He also said he took comfort in the community response to Caolan’s death admitted the funeral was tough, but knew his brother would be “proud of him” after he played his first match following Caolan’s death.

“The togetherness at the time was nice for me and my family. Once we were all lined up, I knew my family would be proud and Caolan would be even prouder looking down,” the GAA star said.

“The 70 minutes was tough, by the end of it I was wrecked. Especially in the conditions too. It was brutal that night. We’ve a photo in the house of me, mummy and daddy after that game and I’m covered in muck from head to toe.”

Source link: Tyrone GAA star opens up about brother killed in A5 crash