A POIGNANT interdenominational tribute will be made this afternoon in honour of the late Pat McManus and all key workers putting their lives at risk during the coronavirus crisis.
Organised by Strabane independent councillor, Raymond Barr, the tribute will include a number of churches in Strabane town sounding their bells at 3pm on Sunday.
Cllr Barr hopes the event can help galvanise local people for the weeks ahead.
“I’ve decided to organise a tribute to recognise the sacrifice made by Strabane man Pat McManus, who lost his life at the weekend while in the service of others,” Cllr Barr explained.
“I knew Pat growing up in the Head of the Town and met him a few years back when he was home for his mum Peggy’s funeral. He was indeed a very laid back, caring individual with a sincere warmth about him.
“Pat became the first health worker from the six counties to lose his life to coronavirus and the tributes paid to him by his colleagues illustrated the esteem in which he was held.
“Pat’s sad passing really brings home to us all at a local level, the selfless contribution these frontliners are making to our community.
“The event on Sunday will give us a chance to thank on a local basis, those council workers, shop workers, the postal service, emergency services and voluntary workers plus the residents of the district for their unambiguous support for each other over the past four weeks, as well as those that have died and their loved ones, those who are fighting the virus and those who have recovered… they will be in our thoughts. The event will hopefully galvanise the community for the difficult weeks ahead.”
Cllr Barr also issued a word of thanks to the local clergy for agreeing to support the event.
He added, “The Strabane community has once again showed the resilience and generosity with donations and practical help coming from all walks of life and the civic responsibility to come through this and I’ve no doubt that will continue.”
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