By Kieran Hughes

The family of a North Belfast man who died after falling into the River Lagan in January have said they are gutted that a fundraising night at the Lansdowne Court Hotel to raise money for a trust fund set up in his memory has had to be postponed after the hotel’s sudden closure.

Joby Murphy’s family and friends had organised the event at the Antrim Road hotel on Saturday (June 2) to raise money to buy sonar equipment for the County Antrim based Community Rescue Service who helped in the month long search for his body.

Twenty-year-old Joby was at the Snow Patrol concert in the Odyssey Arena on January 26 when he fell into the river.

The Lansdowne shut its doors on Monday (May 28) without warning and the Murphy family only found out about the closure through the media.

“It’s really gutting that nobody told us that the hotel was closing,” said Joby’s sister Fiona.

“We have already sold tickets and ballot tickets and some friends had even booked in to stay at the hotel that night. It’s really disappointing.”

She said they are now searching for a new venue for event.

“We are trying to find another place for the fundraiser, but anyone who has bought tickets for the Lansdowne will be able to use them once we get a new venue.”

She added that ballot tickets that have already been bought are still valid and they will now be holding the draw at the Songs for Joby night at the Stiff Kitten bar in Belfast on June 1.

The family are also hosting a kickboxing night in the Glenpark Bar tomorrow (Friday) and there is a sponsored cycle on June 9 from Belfast to Carnlough. So far Joby’s family and friends have raised over £28,000 towards the £35,000 target they need.

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