TRIBUTES have been paid to a well-known and respected Omagh man who died suddenly while he was driving in the town on Friday.
Tony McBride, who was assistant sacristan at Sacred Heart Church in Omagh, was laid to rest on Tuesday.
Emergency services were tasked to the scene of a one-vehicle road traffic collision involving Mr McBride’s car on Brookmount Road in Omagh early on Friday afternoon.
A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) said that two emergency crews, along with the Air Ambulance, were dispatched to the crash.
In an emotional post on Facebook on Friday evening, Drumragh parish priest, Fr Eugene Hasson, said he had been “deeply shocked” by Mr McBride’s sudden death.
The clergyman said that he had only been speaking to him at 8.30am that day.
He added, “This is a great loss to his wife Chrissy, his daughter Ciara, his extended family and friends and to all of us in this parish of Drumragh.”
Dozens of comments left underneath Fr Hasson’s post reflected the widespread shock felt in the Omagh community at his death.
In another tribute on social media, Omagh man Ciaran O’Doherty passed on his condolences to the family and friends of Mr McBride at this “very sad time”.
“An absolute gentleman who will be sadly missed,” Mr O’Doherty added.
As well as his role in the local chapel, Mr McBride worked for many years as a delivery driver for drinks company, Bass Carrington.
Fondly remembered in GAA circles, the father-of-one, who lived in Culmore Park, played in Omagh St Enda’s championship-winning team in
He was also a respected GAA referee.
Mr McBride is survived by wife Chris, daughter Ciara, brother Gerry and sister Lita, and the wider family circle.