A Derry priest has urged local people to pray for the devastated family of a young Creggan man, who was found dead in a car in Galliagh as they prepare to lay him to rest today.
Fr Joseph Gormley, who is due to officiate at Requiem Mass for 18-years-old Caoimhin Cassidy-Crossan this afternoon, said there was great sorrow at the loss of a young life in such tragic circumstances.
“The family is devastated. It is a terrible thing,” he said. “Caoimhin was missing for a couple of days and then their worst fears were realised when they found out he was the person in the car.
“There is sadness in the community. The loss of any young life is very sad and in such tragic circumstances it is that much more poignant.”
Fr. Gormley added: “Caoimhin has his difficulties and he had got help from a lot of people to turn a corner, but unfortunately, made some choices recently that were not good for himself. But that didn’t take away from the fact that he was a good person who, like many of our young people, was struggling to find the true meaning of life.
“He was very much loved by his mum and dad, his grandparents and siblings and I would ask people to keep them in their prayers.”
Requiem Mass for Caoimhin, who lived in Creggan Heights, will take place at 12.00 noon today in St Mary’s Church in Creggan.
Detectives are still investigating the events in the lead up to Caoimhin’s remains being discovered in Galliagh in the early hours of Saturday morning last, June 1. Caoimhin was found inside a stolen red Mazda 6 car, which had earlier hit a lamppost, at a lay by off the junction between Galliagh Park and Fairview Road. The car was also on fire when emergency services arrived.
Police believe Caoimhin was not seriously injured it the collision and was likely to have still been alive when the fire started.
A fire crew from Crescent Link Station had extinguished the blaze after being dispatched to the scene along with police in the early hours of Saturday morning.
A fresh appeal has been issued by the PSNI this week following new information confirming the stolen car was driven across the border several times prior to being driven to Galliagh.
It has not yet been confirmed as to whether there were other people inside the car prior to Caoimhin’s death.
A PSNI spokesperson has said: “Our enquiries to date have established that the Mazda, registration NHZ 4594, was stolen from a house in the Oakfield Crescent area earlier that same night. The car is known to have crossed the border into County Donegal a number of times before it was reported on fire at Fairview Road at 4.15am.
“We are appealing for the public’s help in determining the movements of the vehicle during the early morning hours of Saturday, June 1. We also need to urgently identify any individuals who may have been with Caoimhin on that fateful night.
“This was an appalling end to a young life and Caoimhin’s family and friends deserve to know how he died.
“Detectives can be contacted at Strand Road CID on 101 quoting reference number 316 01/06/19.”