Fond memories of interviews with Archie

Archie Naughton (RIP) pictured receiving a ‘Young Hero’ award from Hidden Hearing in 2017.

Like many people in Roscommon and further afield, it was with great sadness that I learned of Archie Naughton’s untimely passing. Anyone who was familiar of the Naughtons’ story knew how Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy had affected Archie and his twin brothers George and Isaac, but no amount of awareness can prepare you for the death of a bubbly and mischievous 16-year-old.

Some of my fondest memories of my time with the Roscommon People include our coverage of various Join Our Boys’ events, including Team Archie’s participation in three Dublin City Marathons. As part of this coverage, I had the great pleasure in meeting Archie and his family and even interviewing him, though sometimes it was more a case of him interviewing me!

Archie loved sport and despite my efforts to convert him to Manchester United, he was a Chelsea fanatic, and took great pleasure in telling me how rubbish United had become! He was involved with a number of sports teams, both as a player and then later as a coach, and maintained a huge love of Creggs RFC and Connacht Rugby.

Archie was always up for some slagging too, especially when it came to sport or fellow members of Team Archie. During those interviews I was also given a brief glimpse of his determination and positive mindset. A remarkable young man, Archie seemed to realise just how important his big brother role was when it came to George and Isaac too.

He may have been just 16, but the example Archie set in how to make the most of life, no matter how difficult the circumstances, is something we can all look up to.

For Archie’s parents, brothers and extended family, there are no words that will ease or make sense of this cruel heartbreak. And while none of us can truly understand what it’s like to walk in their shoes, I hope they can take some solace in knowing that the local community and indeed the county of Roscommon is walking in solidarity closely behind them.

Rest in peace Archie.