Murder investigation launched into death of popular GAA player

Fionntán McGarvey’s devastated parents have said they take comfort that his desire to donate his organs will bring hope to other families in their time of profound loss.

Police have opened a murder investigation after the 18-year-old, who was allegedly attacked in Belfast just after Christmas, died on Thursday.

The alleged incident took place outside a bar on Finaghy Road North around 1am on Monday 27 December.

A 21-year-old man was arrested Thursday morning on suspicion of murder and is currently being questioned, the PSNI added.

Police also released a statement on behalf of Fionntán’s parents, Lorcan and Aveen.

They said: “We are devastated to lose our beautiful son Fionntán, but take comfort that his desire to donate his organs will bring hope to other families in our time of profound loss.

“The family is grateful for the many messages of sympathy and support we have received. We ask for privacy at this most difficult time.”

Fionntán is also survived by his brothers Caolan and Daire, his sister Sorcha and a wider circle of family.

GAA and football clubs have also paid tribute to the popular and talented young player who was a member of the under-20 and senior football committees at St Brigids GAC in South Belfast.

“The club sends its condolences to Fionntan’s parents, Lorcan and Aveen, his brothers Caolan and Daire and his sister Sorcha.”

A club spokesman said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the tragic death of Fionntan McGarvey, a member of our Under-20 and Senior Football Committee.

The young man also played for Queen’s University Belfast GAA.

In his tribute on Thursday, the club said: “It is with deep sadness that we learned this morning of the death of Fionntan McGarvey, one of our Freshers players.

“We extend our heartfelt condolences and prayers to Fionntan’s friends, team mates, St Brigid’s Club and most importantly his family at this most difficult time. All Queen’s GAA activities will cease tonight with immediate effect.”

Other tributes were paid to his former player on behalf of Aquinas FC.

The club said: “The committee, players and coaches of Aquinas FC would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family, team-mates and friends of our player Fionntan McGarvey aged 7.”

A spokesman for Antrim GAA said: “Very sad news to bring you the death of Fionntan McGarvey. Shocking news for someone so young. We extend our condolences to his family, friends and everyone around them.”

Fionntán also played for Aquinas FC
(Bild: Aquinas FC)

Detective Chief Inspector Raymond Phelan said police believe Fionntán was attacked around 1am on December 27 outside the licensed premises.

“The police were present and Fionntán was taken to the hospital to be treated for his injuries. Tragically, despite treatment, he died this morning.

“I know there were large numbers of people in the area at the time and I appeal to anyone who witnessed the attack or has any information to report.

“I am also appealing to anyone with cellphone or dashcam footage that might assist with inquiries to contact the police on 101 quoting reference 184 dated 12/27/21.

“Any footage may be uploaded to the Major Incident Public Portal at: at:

“A report can also be submitted online using the non-emergency report form at You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at“

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