Portrush Hockey Club

News Letter article...

Charity swimmer's death shocks North AntriM

Published Date:
02 April 2010

By Michael McGlade


A NORTH Antrim community has been plunged into grief this week after a local sports hero was found dead in his home.

Last night tributes were paid to 26-year-old Ciaran McGinn who became the first person in 40 years to swim from his hometown of Ballycastle to Rathlin Island.

Mr McGinn, whose family run a well-known local coach firm, was a fitness instructor at the Marine Hotel Leisure Complex.

Family friend and Moyle councillor Cara McShane said news of the death had shocked both Ballycastle and the entire North Antrim area.

"It is very difficult to put into words the sense of devastation felt by people at this news," said Ms McShane.

"The McGinns have always been great friends of my own family and we are just so sorry to hear this.

"Ciaran was an exceptional person, he had a beautiful personality and he was a real inspiration to everyone in Ballycastle and beyond, especially after his swim to Rathlin.

"I always remember seeing him running down North Street with his surf board – he just loved life."

More than 100 people gathered on the Ballycastle Harbour in 2007 to welcome Ciaran back from his historic swim, for which he raised funds for the local branch of the RNLI.

Mr McGinn, a successful triathlete, was also a former captain of Portrush Hockey Club.

Secretary Ian Jinks said everyone associated with the club had been stunned by the news.

"We really don't know what to say, everyone here is in complete shock," sad Mr Jinks.

"Ciaran was a superb and professional athlete, he was one of our elite players and captained our first team several years ago.

"He was so well-known and respected here within the club and well beyond.

"Everyone at the club would like to extend our sympathy to the family at this terrible time," he added.


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