‘Martin was a very gentle soul and a very good man’, says Creggan Parish Priest

The late Martin Crumlish.
The late Martin Crumlish.

Creggan Parish Priest, Fr. Joe Gormley, has described the late Martin Crumlish as a ‘gentleman and a gentle soul’ who will be sorely missed by the local community and most especially by his grieving family.

He was speaking after the remains of the 26-years-old Bligh’s Lane man were retrieved from the Foyle on Wednesday, a week-and-a-half after he was reported missing by his family.

“I’ve known Martin since he came to the parish four years ago. He was a very gentle soul and a very good man,” said the St. Mary’s P.P.

“He would have attended our men’s prayer group quite regularly. He had his difficulties. He struggled. But Martin was always just a gentleman and a gentle soul.”

News that the young Derry man had been recovered from the river was confirmed by the PSNI on Wednesday following a search involving members of the public and Foyle Search and Rescue volunteers.

“I’m sure you will join me in having your thoughts with Martin’s family at this time. We are not treating the death as suspicious. Martin’s family have asked me to thank everyone involved in trying to locate him there is too many to name individually, your help is as always greatly appreciated,” the PSNI stated.

Fr. Gormley said the former St. Peter’s High School pupil had had a deep faith and was a member of both the Divine Mercy Prayer Group and the Creggan Grotto Group.

“He was loved by the men in the group. They really respected him and I know they are really hurt by his death but nothing compared to the hurt felt by his family, particularly his sister Natalie and his brother Aaron, and his granny and his uncles and aunts.

“Martin always sought solace in his faith in times of difficulties. He knew he was loved by God but sometimes struggled to fully believe how much he was loved.”

Martin gave freely to charity including recent St. Vincent de Paul aid missions to the refugee camps of Greece organised by his friend Sean Gallagher, who in a tribute posted: “At this sad time Martins family and friends would like to thank everyone who helped and prayed for his return. Rest in peace my good friend.”

Fr. Gormley acknowledged the circumstances of Martin’s tragic death were all too familiar to the communities of the city, stating: “In Derry there are so many difficulties with mental health. There are no easy answers to these things and all of us just need to be mindful of our own mental health and indeed look out for the mental health of others.”

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