Meerkat memorial for Joby at Bellevue

By Kieran Hughes

A tribute  to a Glengormley man who tragically died after falling in to the River Lagan earlier this year has been unveiled at Belfast Zoo.

Joby Murphy had been at the Snow Patrol concert in the Odyssey Arena on January 26 when he fell into the river from the Lagan footbridge.

The 20-year-old former member of Belfast City Council’s Youth Forum was known for his fondness of meerkats and was affectionately known to friends and family as Joby ‘ze meerkat’ Murphy.

The new plaque on the wall of the meerkat enclosure pays tribute to Joby for his love of the mammal and was unveiled yesterday (Wednesday).

In a further tribute specialist sonar searching equipment, bought with the £35,000 raised by The Joby Murphy Trust set up by his family and friends, will be called ‘the meerkat’.

The sonar, the only one of its kind in the North, will be handed over by the family to the

Community Rescue Service at a special ceremony at the Hilton Hotel in Belfast tomorrow (Friday). The County Antrim based voluntary rescue team helped in the month long search for Joby’s body.

A specialist rescue team from County Cork were able to locate Joby’s body using similar sonar equipment.

Joby’s mum Katrina said the plaque and the sonar will be a lasting tribute to the young Elmfield man.

“The plaque unveiling was a great day, but it was also a very emotional day,” she said.

“It is a great tribute to Joby and will be a lasting reminder of him.”

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