The Loughguile community was stunned to learn that well known hurler Shane Mulholland had lost his life in a car crash on Friday night.
Although living in Derrylin, Shane, a member of the Fermanagh senior hurling team, was originally from Loughguile.
Mr. Mulhollandhad become a father for the first time to a beautiful baby daughter just two months ago and was due to celebrate his first wedding anniversary this weekend.
The 27-year old worked as a coach for Cavan GAA and following the tragic news the Gaelic Players Association described Mr Mulholland as “an outstanding ambassador for his teammates and his sport”.
Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín expressed her sadness at his death.
“Shane was a talented and energetic person who gave so much in life and his untimely passing will leave a deep void in the lives of those who were fortunate to know him,” she said.
“I am deeply saddened by his loss and offer my sincerest condolences to his wife Vanessa, his young daughter Aisling and the entire Mulholland family circle. It is a time of unimaginable grief for them and they are very much in my thoughts at this time.
“Shane’s loss will also be felt amongst his hurling colleagues in Lisbellaw and Fermanagh, in his native Loughguile and by the young people he coached in Cavan, and I am also thinking of them all at this time.”
In a moving tribute to Shane, Causeway Coast and Glens Sinn Féin Councillor Cara McShane, who knows the family, said the entire North Antrim community was “in complete shock.”
Councillor Cara McShane said: “The North Antrim community has been left in deep shock by Shane’s sudden death in a car crash on Friday evening in Fermanagh.
“Shane was well known and well respected in GAA circles. He was so proud of his native Loughguille and the successes of the Shamrocks club.
“Shane had set up a new life in Fermanagh, being married only last year and had celebrated the birth of his baby daughter just a few short months ago. It is completely heartbreaking now for his wife and for his family to pick up the pieces, when Shane was only starting out in his young life.
“I have no doubt, however, the community here in North Antrim, Fermanagh and in Cavan, where he had started a coaching job in hurling in January, will rally around and support Shane’s wife and family.
“The GAA community, especially, has a special bond which will offer support, strength and guidance for Shane’s family in these difficult days for weeks, months and years to come.
“Shane was always very proud of where he came from. I know his father Johnny Mulholland, who a very well respected man and well known in the Glens area.
“My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, daughter, parents and entire family at this time.”