Tributes paid to Tyrone GAA player Joshua Griggs (19) who died in Banbridge road accident

Tributes have been paid to a popular and talented Co Tyrone GAA player who died following a road traffic collision involving a lorry.

e has been named locally as Joshua Griggs from Newmills.

The incident happened shortly after 1pm on Tuesday near the Foxleigh Fields area of Banbridge.

Police confirmed that the 19-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

At the time of the accident, the teenager, known to his friends and family as Josh, had been travelling as part of a summer job to raise money for his university studies.

The up and coming footballer was a member of Brackaville Owen Roes GFC and was recently named the club’s 2020 Reserve player of the year.

A past pupil of Cookstown High School, Josh is survived by his parents Andy and Royanne, younger brother Nick and wider family circle.

Among those offering their condolences to the GAA club was Fermanagh and South Tyrone Sinn Fein MP Michelle Gildernew, who described the news as “heartbreaking”.

“Thinking of all of you, and friends and family. Absolutely devastating news,” she wrote.

Many others have taken to social media to share their grief about the loss of the young man.

One tribute read: “Just tragic. So devastating for the club, his friends and his poor family. So involved in the community and he will be sorely missed. Thoughts and prayers for all who grieve his loss.”

Another wrote: “This is the saddest news that any parent can get. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Josh was a lovely lad and will be sorely missed by his friends both on and off the field. God bless Josh.”

Mid Ulster UUP councillor Robert Colvin, who knows the family, said he was completely devastated when he heard the news.

“My first thought was this cannot be true but sadly it was,” he said.

“A young man with his whole life in front of him doing so well in his sport and loved by everyone. Across the community people are shaken and heartbroken with grief for this much loved family. 

“My thoughts and prayers for Andy, Royanne, Nick and the family circle for strength and peace and comfort as they are lifted up by their friends and wider community as we share their grief at this time of profound sadness.”

Barrie Holmes from Mid-Ulster Athletic Club added: “It was a great shock to learn of the sudden death, due to an accident at his summer job, of Josh Griggs, older brother of our esteemed member Nick.

“Josh had an outstanding athletic talent and took part in his younger days in our Star Track Summer Camp but his talent took him to Gaelic football, where I understand he was a rising star.

“He will be greatly missed. Our sincere condolences go to Nick, his mother and father and the wider family circle.”

Michael R J Wilson, chairman of Tyrone Somme Memorial Association, also extended his condolences to the Griggs family.

“It is with great sorrow that I have to report the death of our friend Andy Griggs’ son Josh in an accident yesterday.

“Andy was a good friend to the TSMA and we will never forget his help and kindness to all our members who attended the Somme in 2016.

“The devastating loss of a child is unbearable to comprehend and my thoughts and prayers are with the Griggs family at this awful time.”

In a statement the PSNI said their enquiries are ongoing and they are appealing for any witnesses to contact them on 101, quoting reference number 845 of 08/06/21.

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