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Double tragedy for Omagh family

TWO brothers from Omagh have died within days of one another, despite being hundreds of miles apart, after testing positive for Covid-19.

Michael Gormley (77), who was from Culmore Park, passed away at the South West Acute Hospital on Thursday, January 7, having celebrated his birthday the week before on New Year’s Eve.

His brother, Sean (73), died in hospital in England on Monday. He had been battling the disease for a number of weeks prior to his death.

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The family originally lived in St Brigid’s Terrace on Gallows Hill and were then the first people to move into Culmore Park when it was built 50 years ago.

Both Michael and Sean were well-known in Omagh and beyond over many years for their talents as tradesmen.

This week the pair’s sister, Marie Bresnahan, told the UH, that, as well as being siblings, the two were close friends who had looked out for each other throughout their lives.

“Neither Michael nor Sean knew that the other was ill and I’m content now that they are at peace,” she
said.

“That was the way it was meant to be, because they were so close in life and both would have found it extremely hard to have coped with the other not being around.

“Sean was very quiet, reserved and unassuming. He had a great sense of humour, everyone loved him and he was very obliging. After learning his trade as a bricklayer, he eventually built up his own contracting business.

“He was so loving and devoted to his wife, Anne, and extremely proud of his children’s achievements and progress in life. In more recent years, he doted on his grandchildren.

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“Michael was a carpenter and like a father figure to me over the years. He was so kind and good and always on hand to help Sean if the need arose. When he got ill in later years, it broke Sean’s heart.”

Mrs Bresnahan said the family was still coming to terms with how suddenly the two brothers had died, but was also consoled by the belief that they are now with their brother, Liam, who died over 40 years ago and their mother.

“I just can’t believe how quickly all of this has happened. Our brother, Liam died in 1978 at the age of just 24,” she added.

“My mother Mary has her three sons with her now, but it’s hard for my sister Kathy and to think that we’ve no brothers left.

“Unfortunately, Michael had the worst strain of Covid. He celebrated his birthday on New Year’s Eve, and was admitted to hospital last Monday. I then got the call in the early hours of Thursday morning to say that he was deteriorating and then, a short time later, that he had died.

“I was so glad to have been able to spend time with Michael on his birthday. My final memory of him will be of his smiling face and him waving.

“Our neighbours have been so kind over the past few days since Michael and Sean died.

“We have been inundated with flowers and messages and I would just like to express my appreciation for all that they have done.”
Michael and Sean Gormley are survived by their sisters, Kathy Emblen, who lives in Edinburgh and Marie Bresnahan in Omagh.

Michael is also survived by his nieces and nephews and his brother-in-law Benny.

Sean, who lived in Kent, is also survived by his wife, Anne, children Neale, Sonya and Aideen, his sons-in-law, Blair and Danny, and his grandchildren Kelsie, Mollie-Anne and Shay.

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Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW