Northern Ireland's Niall McGinn dedicates victory and goal to Cookstown tragedy victims 3 years ago

Northern Ireland's Niall McGinn dedicates victory and goal to Cookstown tragedy victims

Niall McGinn admitted that the victims of the Cookstown tragedy played on his mind ahead of Northern Ireland's 2-0 victory over Estonia on Thursday night.

McGinn was eager to do the victims proud in Northern Ireland's Euro 2020 qualifying group opener after three children tragically passed away on St Patrick's night.

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The Northern Ireland international, who began his career at Dungannon Swifts, opened the scoring for his country this week and dedicated his goal to Lauren Bullock (17), Connor Currie (16) and Morgan Barnard (17), who tragically died at the Greenvale Hotel.

Donaghmore-born McGinn was eager to put in a winning performance for the community which has been left devastated by the incident.

"I was devastated when I heard the news," the Aberdeen player said, via the Belfast Telegraph. "It was in the back of my mind to do well in the game against Estonia and score a goal and thankfully I did that.

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"The little girl only lives two doors down from my sister and it is so, so sad what happened. My sister was down at the house the other day and my mum has been along as well. I saw the remains coming home and it has been a desperate time for all the families involved.

"I have spoken to a lot of people and everyone in Donaghmore is devastated, and if me doing well and scoring a goal on the international stage can bring any sort of shed of light to the local community that is good. It was an important goal for Northern Ireland, but it was for my local community as well."