Hunger striker's brother dies in crash

Hunger striker's brother dies in crash

A 67-year-old man, who died in a crash in south Armagh on Friday night, was the brother of former IRA hunger striker Raymond McCreesh.

Patsy McCreesh died in a collision between a Vauxhall Vectra car and an articulated Volvo lorry on the Forkhill Road, Meigh, before 7pm.His brother Raymond died in prison in 1981 after surviving 61 days on hunger strike.Mr McCreesh was the eighth person to die on the region's roads so far this year.He was on his way back from leaving his son to football practice when the crash took place close to the family home.Local parish priest Fr Richard Naughton said Mr McCreesh was deeply committed to the church, describing him as "an apostle of pilgrimages."Paying tribute to the devout Catholic, Fr Naughton said: "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."I've been in this parish 10 years and since my time in this parish, he has been one of the key organisers - or thee organiser - of pilgrimages to Medjugorje."Fr Naughton said that Mr McCreesh had been busy organising an Easter trip to the prayer site, adding that he was "very committed to his home and his family.""In his own life, he was a daily Mass goer."He said that he could often be spotted driving his children to and from sports practices."I've always been impressed - I would say in awe - of Patsy McCreesh."Conor Murphy, Sinn Féin MP for Newry and Armagh, told UTV that people had been left numb by the sudden and untimely death of Mr McCreesh."The news of a sudden death I think just completely shocked the community. Right across south Armagh, there's a very deep sense of sadness."He continued, adding that Mr McCreesh was "a very gentle person.""Patsy was highly regarded, a very, very pleasant man and very well liked and I think there's a real sense of loss."Mr McCreesh was reared in the village of Camlough as was Mr Murphy, who said he had known the pensioner all his life.Speaking on the McCreesh family, he continued: "Obviously, people would have known them from Raymond's participation and death in the Hunger Strikes, but the family themselves are very well respected right across south Armagh and across Ireland."


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