Family tribute to ‘gentleman’ Liam after Lourdes tragedy

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The family of Derry man Liam McSwine have paid tribute to “an amazing husband and father” as they prepare to bring his remains home from Lourdes.

Brandywell native Mr McSwine (70) had been on a pilgrimage with his beloved wife Margaret and several of the couple’s other relatives when he died in a tragic accident.

Derry man Liam McSwine

Derry man Liam McSwine

The Derry couple had just arrived on Wednesday evening and had had dinner when Liam decided to go for a stroll, as he often did at home.However it is believed that as he returned in the darkness along an unfamiliar path back towards the hotel where they were staying, he slipped, lost his footing and fell into a river in a spot just 100 yards from his destination.

Initial searches overnight on Wednesday into Thursday morning failed to locate him, but Mr McSwine’s body was discovered on Thursday afternoon by what is believed to have been a group of local authority cleaners.

Speaking to the Journal yesterday, Mr McSwine’s family said the father-of-ten and grandfather-of-14 had been a devoted family man.

In a statement they said: “It is devastating, absolutely devastating. He was a gentleman, anybody that knew him would tell you the same.

“We are all very close and we adored him. He was the head honcho in our house.

“He was an amazing husband and an amazing father.”

Mr McSwine’s wife and some of their children are currently in France making arrangements for his remains to be brought home, with funeral arrangements to be finalised later.

Mr McSwine’s family paid tribute to their partners , extended family circle and friends for their support.