Warwickshire GAA teenager and three Irish among those killed in Tunisia gun attack
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Warwickshire GAA teenager and three Irish among those killed in Tunisia gun attack

A British GAA club has been left devastated by the loss of one of its players in the Tunisian beach attack.

Warwickshire teenager Joel Richards is among the 38 people killed by a gunman in the Sousse beach attack on Friday.

In a statement released on Facebook on Saturday, James Connollys GFC described the 19-year-old as an ‘exceptionally talented footballer’.

The club said: “James Connollys GFC is devastated to learn of the death of one of our players, Joel Richards, during the horrific attack in Tunisia.

"Joel was an exceptionally talented footballer, who represented both club and county with conviction on numerous occasions.

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"Details of his funeral arrangements will follow; our thoughts are with his family and friends at this tragic time.”

Mr Richards had been on holiday with family at the time of the attack.

His 16-year-old brother Owen survived the massacre, but his uncle Adrian Evans and grandfather Patrick, 78, were also killed.

A JustGiving page has since been set up to raise money for Owen, who was was shot and injured in the attack but risked his own life while fleeing the beach to help a wounded woman.

You can find details of the page here.

Derby’s St Joseph’s GAA and Nottingham GAA paid their respects to Joel Richards before training sessions at the weekend, while a minute’s silence was held in his honour before the start of Féile final between Warwickshire and Drumlane.

Irish Ambassador to Britain Dan Mulhall also expressed his sadness at the loss of a young life.

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“Sad to learn that one of those killed in Tunisia was Joel Richards, who played Gaelic Football for the James Connolly club in Birmingham,” he wrote on Twitter.

Three Irish nationals are also among those who died in the Sousse beach attack, with the British casualty list confirmed today to have passed 30.

A couple in their mid-50s from Athlone in Co. Westmeath, named locally as Laurence and Martina Hayes, were confirmed dead over the weekend.

Lorna Carty, a mother-of two from Robinson in Co. Meath, also died.

Ireland's Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said: “The process of full and formal identification of victims is continuing in Tunis and will take a period of time before it is completed.

“The Irish Ambassador and Consul are on the ground in Tunisia, working closely with the Tunisian authorities."

He added: “This is a tragic and difficult time for the families and loved ones of those concerned. I have condemned in the strongest terms these terrorist attacks.

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"I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the families of all the deceased.”

The Irish Government is now advising people to ‘exercise extreme caution’ if travelling to Tunisia.

Minister Flanagan said: “Such attacks must be condemned wherever they occur but happening in Europe and on Europe’s doorstep brings their full horror home to us here in Ireland.

“We must continue to work together for the stability of the Middle East and North Africa, and to address the threats to the people of Europe and the region presented by continued instability.”

Today (June 29) the British Government confirmed that more than British nationals had been killed in the attack.

Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Tobias Ellwood said he had spoken to relatives of the victims and injured British nationals.

“I offer my deepest sympathy,” he said. “We are doing everything we can to co-ordinate and co-operate with other countries and to share any information that we have with them.

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He added: “This is the most significant attack on British people since 7/7, and highlights the ongoing threat from ISIL.

"This act of evil and brutality demonstrates why we must confront this kind of extremism, wherever it happens, at home or abroad.”