Pat Ramsey says he has been overwhelmed by the many people who contacted him offering support following the death of his brother Noel.
The Foyle MLA said he has been overcome with emotion and gratitude at the support offered to him and his family from the Derry public.
And he thanked all those who visited the family home or sent messages of support.
Noel Ramsey, a father of three passed away in the early hours of Friday morning following a short illness.
Noel was well known in the city due to his work with Cursillo, the SDLP, COR and managing the annual Walk to Knock.
The Hatmore man was also a former chairman of the Derry branch of the SDLP.
Pat Ramsey said he and his family have since been inundated by people sharing their sense of shock and loss.
He said: “Noel’s wife, Sharon, his three sons and our entire family circle are simply overcome with emotion and gratitude at the level of support offered by the Derry public.
“The family have been overwhelmed by the number of well-wishers who have travelled from all over Ireland to visit the family at this difficult time. It has been the source of much strength at this awful time. We are already heavily indebted to Noel’s hospital and extended medical team for all the support and assistance they have provided us but the outpouring of support from the Derry public has been simply remarkable. There is simply no way I could respond to all the messages of condolence individually but that is not to say they were not very much appreciated.
“We have experienced a huge loss, a tidal wave of emotions, followed by what I can only describe as a tsunami of support. I cannot adequately put in words what that means to my family and I.
“Noel’s faith was incredibly strong. He practiced Jesus’ message of love. That is the word most associated with my brother over the last few days, love. During his lifetime Noel repeatedly proved that he cared deeply for everyone. In his death it is clear how much he was loved and respected in return.
“It is that message, the way he lived his life in the service of his faith and his fellow man that have granted the family the strength to face the difficult and dark times ahead.
“Somehow we must continue to practice the many lessons Noel taught us. From the bottom of my heart I thank everyone who expressed their sense of loss, support and love for our family at this terrible, terrible time.”