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Niall Morgan: 'Everybody Looked Up To Damian Casey In Dungannon'

Niall Morgan: 'Everybody Looked Up To Damian Casey In Dungannon'
By PJ Browne Updated

Niall Morgan isn't a major hurling fan, but anytime the Tyrone hurlers played before the county's footballers, he'd leave the dressing room to take in the game. That was mainly so he could watch Damian Casey.

At the weekend, aged just 29, the Dungannon man died in a tragic swimming pool accident in Spain where he was attending a wedding.

"We got the news during club training," Morgan said at the launch of AIB’s new series, The Drive.

"A couple of boys had to sit out for five to ten minutes to digest the news.

"I'm Edendork and Dungannon is a half a mile down the road, same parish. We'd be in a similar area on nights out.

"I wouldn't say that I'm a big buddy, and I'm not going to try and make it out that road, but I knew him and would speak to him on nights out.

"For such a high-profile person I never heard anybody say a bad word about him. No ego, no nothing. He was almost a protected species in Dungannon. Everybody looked up to him in Dungannon so much, he will be sadly missed."

30 April 2018; Damian Casey of Tyrone in attendance during the Nicky Rackard Cup competition launch at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Just last month, Casey scored 0-14 for Tyrone as they defeated Roscommon to claim the Nickey Rackard Cup.

"Nobody can comprehend it; there are different stories filtering through at the moment of how things happened. It's the unknown of everything," said Tyrone goalkeeper Morgan.

"You realise now how precious life is; you have a lad going across to Spain to celebrate his friend's wedding and not coming home. That's the stark reality of it.

"It's just extremely sad. We were supposed to go away for a wedding there. You just think, 'Imagine going to that, and somebody really close to you not coming back'.

"It's scary to think how things can happen. Extreme shock and sadness at seeing a picture in the paper of his family at the vigil. You can tell by their faces that it hadn't sunk in yet. God knows how long it will take for it to sink in.

"I'm not massive into hurling. We only have four clubs in Tyrone and are not linked to any of the football clubs. He is the one name that you always knew. Whenever the Tyrone hurlers were playing before us, you went out because you knew he was on the pitch and you wanted to watch him.

"He was extremely skilful; great physique and obviously a brilliant leader in the squad for many years."

Picture credits: Sportsfile

See Also: Kevin McStay Calls For Three-Tier Football Championship

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