Tributes paid to tragic Odhran

Odhran Varney.
Odhran Varney.

Tributes have been paid to five-year-old Odhran Varney who passed away on Christmas Day.

The Glengormley boy died in hospital on Sunday, hours after becoming unwell.

His father Phil and mother Nicole Gillen are being comforted by family and friends.

Odhran, who had Down’s syndrome, was a pupil at Hill Croft School.

Cllr Jim Bingham sits on the board of governors at the Manse Way school.

Speaking to the Times, the UUP representative said: “It is a difficult time for everyone who knew Odhran and I offer my condolences to them.

“I know how they feel because my daughter passed away before Christmas six years ago. I’m thinking about them at this time.”

Cllr John Blair passed on his condolences. The Alliance representative said: “It is tragic and extremely sad for the family, those who Odhran went to school with, his teachers and everyone else who knew him.

“Their sadness will be compounded as it is at Christmas. I hope the family will find some comfort from the fact that those of us who represent the community will be thinking of them.”

An online fundraising page has been set up to raise funds to help cover “the high cost of services, memorial as well as any future arrangements that should need to be made.”

At the time of going to press, £5,860 had been raised.

The Go Fund Me page was set up by Johnny Finnegan. Thanking people for their generosity, he said: “I would like to express gratitude on behalf of the family as to how overwhelmed they are with the generosity shown by every person that has taken the time to donate and leave heartwarming messages. There are no words. Thank you.”

If you would like to make a donation, go to