John McCullagh June 6, 2006
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"A dark hatred stole the life of an ordinary boy with light in his heart"


Thomas Devlin was a normal fifteen-year-old teenager who was murdered in an unprovoked attack about 200 metres from his home as he was on his way back from buying sweets with his friends on 10 August 2005.  He and his friends were out on a balmy summer’s evening enjoying the school summer holidays.

Thomas was about to go into his GCSE year at his school, Belfast Royal Academy and had a bright future ahead of him.  He enjoyed playing computer games, listening to heavy metal music, playing the tenor horn, socialising with his pals.  He had many friends from across the Northern Ireland community.

Thomas was, and his friends are, the future for Northern Ireland. It is vital that Thomas’s generation have hope and confidence for their futures.

 

The family hope that this fund will ensure that public awareness about the effect and impact of violence on young people will be raised. The Trust Fund will commission a sculpture which will be a visual metaphor for the futility of violence as well as for the hopes, aspirations and ambitions of Thomas’s friends and other young people of his generation. The Trust Fund will also engage in other activities specifically targeted at young people and focussed on the arts and music.

At Thomas’s funeral service Father Emerson said "The worst possible thing that could happen is for those who believe in evil and violence to be allowed to terrorise the rest of us to become like them. Therefore I would ask all of you, especially the young people among us, to continue to focus on doing good things and showing that good will always overcome evil."

The Thomas Devlin Trust Fund will hopefully help young people to focus on the good things just as we know Thomas did.

Despite the family’s suffering of great pain and personal loss, his Mum and Dad, Penny and Jim, his sister Megan and his brother James, would all like Thomas’s death to be a catalyst for young people to acknowledge and appreciate the futility of gratuitous violence against young people.

 


Newry Journal is pleased and honoured to advertise a comic play-reading by our own Newpoint in The Bank on Thursday evening 8 June – from 9 pm – to raise funds for the above worthy cause.

As it’s also your editor’s birthday (fortuitous that, eh!)  I’ll be pleased to allow you also to buy me a drink to celebrate!

Seriously though!

BE THERE !!

Picture of Thomas taken on the afternoon of the 10th August by a friend

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