Foyle Hospice founder Dr Tom McGinley has paid tribute to Martin McCrossan, a man he described as “someone very special.”
Dr. McGinley revealed how he had known Martin as a young boy and would often see him when he was out doing his calls in Creggan.
“For many years Martin worked for the Foyle Hospice, not just raising money but working to raise the profile of the hospice.”
He said that many years ago Martin came to the Foyle Hospice to visit a friend who had lived on his own and had been admitted with terminal cancer.
“Martin befriended the man and called with him every evening,” he said. “It impressed me so much to see how a young man could take time to look after someone who was on their own.”
Dr. McGinley said Martin McCrossan was someone who made things happen such as when he started up the People of the Year awards.
“Over the years we continued to be good friends and I was good friends with his mother.
“He was a hard worker and I often told him he had to slow down.
“The Hospice has lost a tremendous supporter.
“I couldn’t even begin to describe all that Martin has done for the Hospice.”
Dr McGinley said he was in no doubt that his most recent award when he was given the Freedom of the City had been planned by Martin McCrossan.
“In terms of tourism Martin McCrossan’s contribution was immeasurable,” he added.
“He did so much for the city.
“And always supporting him was his wonderful wife Sharon.
“We have lost somebody very special.”
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “It is with tremendous sadness that we have learned of the death of our good friend, Martin McCrossan.
“A true ambassador for his city and indeed for tourism generally, he will be greatly missed by all of us in Tourism Ireland and by his friends and colleagues in the tourism industry.
“Our sincere condolences go to his wife and family.”
Howard Hastings Chairman, Northern Ireland Tourist Board said; “On behalf of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and wider tourism family I would like to express our profound sadness at the death of Martin McCrossan whom we were privileged to have worked with for many years.
“Martin was hugely loved by all of us, and a pillar of the tourism industry in Northern Ireland. Martin received many accolades down the years as the man to get if you wanted a tour of Derry’s walls, and above everything he was a tremendous ambassador for his home city.
“Over the last twenty years he shared the best of his city with many thousands of visitors who benefitted from his knowledge, humour and passion for Derry. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Sharon and family, his many friends, and his colleagues at City Tours and in the tourism industry.”
Neil Devlin of the Everglades Hotel said : “On behalf of everyone at the Everglades Hotel & at Hastings Hotels we would like to extend our sympathy to the McCrossan Family on the sudden passing of Mr Martin McCrossan.”
He revealed how Martin had helped him when he first moved to the city and continued to be a support.
“Mr. McCrossan was extremely well known in Derry and throughout Ireland and his contribution towards d tourism in the city was considerable. He will be missed by all at the Everglades.”