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Hundreds mourn passing of “everyone’s friend” Matt Flynn

October 28, 2013

By Christine Keighery

Tributes have been paid to a much loved figure in the Forkhill community who passed away recently.  60 year old Matt Flynn, a familiar smiling face in the locality, died on Thursday 17th October, surrounded by his loving family.

The brother of Sinn Fein councilor Anthony Flynn, Matt is fondly remembered for his enjoyment of all things musical in the community and his involvement in countless plays in the local Gateway club during his forty years as a member there.

Matt has been described as someone who refused to let his disabilities hold him back and, despite his communication difficulties, he managed to express himself very well, with a name for everyone he met and a smile for all.

Madeline McCrink of the Forkhill Community Association, extended the sympathies of the entire community to Matt’s family, especially his loving mother Rita, who, at 86 years old, has devoted her entire life to caring for her special son.  Madeline spoke of Matt as “everyone’s friend” and noted his faithful attendance at community fundraising and musical events over the years, accompanied by his devoted mother.

Matt will be dearly missed by everyone who knew and loved him, not least his brothers Sean, Teddy, Eugene, Jim and Anthony, his sister Marie and his mother Rita.  Not expected to survive very long after birth, Matt defied the odds to live a long and happy life, bringing laughter and joy to his family and community.

People turned out in their hundreds to pay their respects to Matt and the Flynn family during his wake and many more packed St Oliver Plunkett‘s Church, Forkhill on Saturday 19th October, to bid a final farewell to a beloved character, before bringing him to his final resting place in St. Brigid’s Cemetery, Kilcurry.

His sister, Marie, described his funeral as a “celebration” of Matt’s life and, on behalf of the family, she extended their heartfelt thanks to the neighbours and friends who helped out during the wake, everyone who sent food and to everyone who called to the family home and sent messages of support and sympathy.  A special thanks is extended to Matt’s GP and the team of medical staff and carers who looked after him so well in his final days.

It seems everyone had a story to tell about the wonderful Matt Flynn so as a special tribute, his family would like to compile a collection of memories of Matt submitted by his friends throughout the community.  They invite anyone with stories or pictures of Matt to email them to mattflynnstories@gmail.com.

Matt’s months mind will be held on Sunday 17th November @ 11am in Kilcurry Church.

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