‘Huge sense of loss’ in wake of latest road fatality

January 20, 2014

The latest road fatality in the south Armagh area has sent shockwaves through the district and robbed a community of one of its most popular and esteemed citizens.

Patsy McCreesh (67) died when his car was in collision with an articulated lorry shortly before 7.00pm on Friday evening.  The crash happened just yards from his home on the Forkhill Road in Meigh.

Described as ‘a gentleman’ and ‘an exceptional person’, Patsy is the eldest of the esteemed McCreesh family from Camlough, whose brother Raymond died on hunger-strike in Long Kesh in May 1981.

The sudden and tragic manner of his demise has left people numb and created ‘a real sense of loss’, Sinn Fein MP and close family friend, Conor Murphy has said.

“The news of his sudden death just completely shocked the community. Right across south Armagh, there’s a very deep sense of sadness,” he said.

“Patsy was highly regarded, a very, very pleasant man and very well liked and I think there’s a real sense of loss.  The McCreesh family are held in the highest esteem in Camlough, in south Armagh and across Ireland and I am very saddened that such heartbreak should visit this family.

“I wish to extend my deepest sympathies to Patsy’s brothers and sisters and to his entire circle of family and friends.  I know that the community of south Armagh will come together to offer their support at this time,” he added.

Hugely popular, well-known and respected, Mr McCreesh lived with his partner, Liz, and family in Meigh where he was deeply involved in community, club and parish activities.  A man of deep faith, he regularly organized and led pilgrimages to the prayer site at Medjugorje, to where he travelled many times himself.

Local parish priest Fr Richard Naughton paid tribute to Mr McCreesh’s deep commitment to the church, describing him as “an apostle of pilgrimages.”

“Patsy McCreesh, for me, was an exceptional person.  You don’t often meet people like Patsy and what made him so exceptional was that he, well, I would really classify him as an apostle of pilgrimages,” Fr. Naughton said.

Adding that he was “very committed to his home and his family” he continued: “In his own life, he was a daily Mass-goer.  I’ve always been impressed – I would say in awe – of Patsy McCreesh.”

In his hometown of Camlough, parish priest Fr. Bobby McKenna, described Mr McCreesh as “a very helpful gentleman”.

“Nothing was too much for him and on his pilgrimages to Medjugorje with sick people, he was exceptionally kind to them and exceptionally helpful as well.”

SDLP MLA, Dominic Bradley, also knew Mr McCreesh well, and said he was “shocked and saddened” at the news of his death.

“Patsy McCreesh was a man of deep faith, and was very well liked in the local community for his pleasant and friendly disposition.  My immediate thoughts are with Patsy’s family and, on behalf of the community, I extend my deepest sympathy to them,” he said.

Left to mourn Patsy’s passing are his partner Liz, daughter Suzanne; Darren, Raymond, Ciaron, Ryle and Caoimhe, to whom he was a devoted guardian; his brothers and sisters, Fr. Brian, Michael, Malachy, Marie, Bridie and Theresa, extended family and many friends.

Requiem Mass will be celebrated in St. Joseph’s Church, Meigh tomorrow (Tuesday) at 12 noon with burial following in the adjoining cemetery.