Tributes paid by football club to fan who died in motorcycle crash

Barrie Meneely (44) who passed away on Friday.
Barrie Meneely (44) who passed away on Friday.

The local football world have been paying tribute to a Dungannon Swifts fan who lost his life in a road crash.

44-year-old Barrie Meneely, believed to be from the Lurgan area, died after his motorcycle crashed into a wall in Loughgall, on Friday morning.

The father-of-three was a well known supporter of Dungannon Swifts, the club paid an emotional tribute to him on Friday Evening hailing him as the life and soul of their games.

Just a few weeks ago Barrie watched his son lead out his beloved team as a mascot in the League Cup final as the Swifts won their first major senior trophy.

The club said the “Swifts Family” had been left devastated, paying tribute they said: “He enjoyed the ‘banter’ with home and away fans and many people will recognise him even if they didn’t know him.

“His young son, Alfie, lead the Swifts team out on the pitch as mascot at the Bet McLean League Cup Final v Ballymena. This was an extremely proud moment for Barrie and his wife Emma watching their wee man beaming with pride.

“Barrie was a proud and delighted Swifts fan that day, with his beloved club winning their first major trophy and also Alfie being a mascot brought him even more joy.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, especially to his wife Emma and three children, Alex, Charlotte and Alfie and to his father Johnny who attended all Swifts games with him, his mother Noleen and sister Toni.”

Tributes were also paid by former Swifts Manager Joe McAree MBE said: “So very,very sad. Barrie was such a really good young man and my deepest sympathy goes to all the family circle.”

DUP MLA Carla Lockhart described the news as “devastating”, calling Mr Meneely “a true gentleman”.

DUP MLA William Irwin said: “I am shocked to learn of this terrible news. “It is such an awful tragedy to hear that another person has lost their life on our roads.”

Sergeant Nick Browne said: “The collision, involving a motor cycle, occurred at around 10:25am at the junction of the Lissheffield Road and Red Lion Road in Loughgall.

“The 44 year old male driver of the bike, who was from the local area, died as a result of his injuries sustained in the collision.

“The Lissheffield Road and Red Lion Road in Loughgall were closed for a period, but have now re-opened.

“I am appealing to anyone was travelling on the Lissheffield Road at its junction with Red Lion Road around this time, or drivers who have a dash cam fitted to their vehicle, to check their footage, to contact police in Lurgan on the non emergency number 101, quoting reference number 365 of 09/03/18.”