Family appeal for missing Derry man

Missing: Martin Crumlish
Missing: Martin Crumlish

The family and friends of missing Derry man, Martin Crumlish, have issued a fresh appeal for anyone who may have seen him recently to come forward.

Martin was last seen walking ‘out the line’ towards the border at Balloughry/Carrigans on Wednesday past, August 8 by someone who knew him and the search operation has been concentrating in that area.

Martin Crumlish.

Martin Crumlish.

The 26-years-old former St. Peter’s High School pupil was yesterday described by his family and friends as a ‘ quiet, kind-hearted and charitable’ young man whose disappearance is totally out of character.

Martin’s sister, Natalie Melaugh; her husband Damien and Martin’s friend, Sean Gallagher, yesterday said they were anxious for anyone who may have seen him over the past week to get in touch.

Natalie said: “We’re really worried. This is not like him. He always keeps in contact.

“We were chatting to him on the Sunday before last. He was fine.

“He always answers the phone to me when I ring him no matter time it would be . . . This is awful.”

Damien added: “This is so out of character for Martin. He doesn’t do that, he just doesn’t disappear. It’s not his form.”

Sean Gallagher said Martin is due to travel to Dublin later this month to take part in the ‘World Meeting of Families’ celebrations.

“He was looking forward to going down for the Pope’s visit,” Sean noted. “I’m running the bus and he was the first person to say ‘I’ll go’.”

Describing the sort of person his friend is, Sean said: “Martin is quiet and he is kind and he is always helpful.

“He is a very charitable fellow.”

Sean Gallagher added: “I would do a lot with St. Vincent De Paul and with Refugees and he is always the first to volunteer.

“Whenever I was doing to Refugee appeals, be it collecting clothes or food, he was always the first person I would call . He loved doing it, He is unbelievable, he really is a fantastic guy.”

Martin, who is 6ft 1in tall, of slim build and with brown hair, was wearing a black coat and trousers that may have been either tracksuit bottoms or jeans when he was last seen. He was also most likely wearing retro-style Adidas trainers.

A co-ordinated search operation has been launched involving family, friends, volunteers and organisations including Foyle Search & Rescue, Mourne Mountain Rescue and the PSNI.

A large group of family and friends have turned out for the search, along with some local people who didn’t know him Martin but who have themselves previously been involved in searching for their own loved ones, “which is very good of them,” Natalie said.

Damien said his brother-in-law was involved in the Divine Mercy Prayer Group at St. Mary’s Church and the Creggan Grotto Group and members of those groups were also offering support to the family.

“We want to thank everyone who has come out for the search or offered up prayers for Martin,” he said.

Natalie added that the family were very appreciative of anyone helping to date, and would be very grateful if anyone else had free time and could join them in the search.

She also appealed to anyone who might have come across or spotted her brother to please come forward.

“It could be anyone who has seen him walking anywhere, or any friends who were chatting to him recently, anything: cyclists, joggers ‘out the line,’ even farmers in their fields, if they noticed something.”

Police in Derry have also appealed for anyone who might have seen Martin or has information about his whereabouts to get in touch. They have asked all drivers who have a dash cams in their vehicles and were in the area of Foyle Road/Letterkenny Road on Wednesday, August 8, between the hours of 11am and 5pm to check their cameras for sighting of Martin.

“If you can help us find Martin, please call 101 quoting reference 25 10/08/18,” a Foyle PSNI spokesperson said.

*Anyone who wishes to help in the daily searches has been advised to check the ‘Creggan Grotto Derry ‘Facebook page for up-to-date timings and information.