Aberdeen University student’s life cut short – but young man

Ten months ago, several young men wearing baseball caps, sunglasses and hoodies murdered a fellow student in Shetland.

He was just 22-years-old, the son of a local resident and a student in Aberdeen University’s School of Management.

It was a tragic loss to the small community who had been supporting Liam along with his family in everything he wanted to achieve.

A picture of the young family had gone viral two weeks after the murder. Liam’s mother Mary was crying in the driver’s seat of the car, right with her son in the passenger seat.

The picture went viral and the Fife teenager became a hero to thousands of people who knew him as “Mum.”

In the days following the murder, people all over the world held vigils for Liam.

Huge adverts, photographs and poignant posts showing what Liam had achieved have been run in support of the young Scotsman.

Huge tribute poster taken from @DublinTeenMum Facebook group. I love this message cos its just words, but actually what it means is LIFE pic.twitter.com/h2XCdjU9dd — Infoline To All (@lucileprize_sp) March 9, 2016

One of the biggest messages of support – shared and not from strangers – is one that the Fife man’s mother Mary took to see world famous footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portugal star, whose mother is a half-Scottish, half-Portuguese woman, said the idea of meeting her son inspired the massive campaign for Liam.

“I had the idea to do a donation to Liam’s family. I took that idea to my friend, Miss Róisín, I was amazed by that thought.

“I am thrilled with the response. I have never had such a reaction. It has been amazing,” she told the BBC’s Today programme.

Stunning tribute to Liam from Finland artist @JyrkoNikolaides “These things deserve to be remembered to some degree” https://t.co/P9XDzPCJfU pic.twitter.com/iLXytE21iC — ePT.ie P.S.G. (@ePTpharmacy) March 14, 2016

“The reactions since then have been incredible,” she added.

At the end of last year, it was announced that Liam would be honoured at the Glasgow Fringe Festival.

There are posters in Glasgow with the slogan: “Liam Ryan; RIP. So much love. A beautiful spirit died far too young.”

Student success is in Liam’s DNA

But while Liam’s life was cut short, he was still just beginning the career he had been so passionate about.

Liam had enrolled in his first internship with Eircom, working as a marketing graduate.

In March 2015, he told the BBC Radio Scotland, “I’m looking forward to a job that I love and get to do something I love and live in the city I love so much.”

Five months later, Liam was tragically killed.

Fionnuala O’Brien, Head of Student Recruitment at the company said in February last year, “He had not only given us a lot of good feedback for us to draw on, but also made positive connections with our training and development students which we will use to create future graduate cadres for our business.”

Three Men Arrested for Murder of Liam Ryan

Andrew Houston, who was a professional and university box-boxer and taught at the University of Aberdeen, had been working with Liam.

He described him as a “gentle, caring lad”.

I would’ve lost my cousin in that alley

Houston had offered Liam a lesson on how to use a telephone.

However, it is believed Liam had left university in November 2015, to pursue a boxing career.

The promising boxer died a short time later.

Stuart Olley’s sister Rose had taken an ad in the Aberdeen Evening Express to find Liam’s killer.

She says: “I would’ve lost my cousin in that alley. I am still heartbroken.”

Two of the suspects are believed to be thought to be from Dundee.

One of the young men are believed to be from Dundee.

Where do we go from here?

As we mourn Liam’s life, the young Scotsman’s huge impact is still evident.

Organisers of events running in support of Liam have included RIP Liam and Mount Washington’s Three Kings Day.

As one said:

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