THE PEOPLE of south Fermanagh and beyond have been left “in numb shock” by the sudden death of community stalwart, Michael (Mickey) McPhillips.
So often this year Mickey lined the streets of Newtownbutler to ensure locals who passed were given a proper community goodbye in this time of Covid restrictions. This morning (Wednesday), that community he loved so well will be lining to the village streets to say farewell to Mickey, as his brothers and nephews carry him from his brother Eamonn’s home in Derrykerrib to the Church of the Immaculate Conception for funeral Mass at 11 o’clock.
Mickey, who was a well known photographer, film maker and historian, died in tragic circumstances in the early hours of Saturday morning. A Renaissance man with many strings to his bow, tributes have been pouring in foe the man who lived and breathed for his community. From politicians to community groups to professional bodies to countless friends from across the world, Mickey’s brother Richie said the family had been inundated with messages of love for the 54-year-old.
“The messages and the communications we’ve received, we know what he meant to the community,” he said. “The community is grieving as much as we’re grieving.”
Former MLA Richie said it would take both their family and the whole community a long time to get over the shock of Mickey’s death, and the circumstances in which he died.
Mickey’s body was recovered from the lough near Galloon Road on Saturday. Richie said his brother’s death was “a serious wake up call for us all in terms of mental health.”
“I would say to people, for God’s sake, talk,” he said. “Don’t bottle it up, speak to somebody. There is always somebody out there.”
Michael McPhillips’ body will leave his brother Eamonn’s home in Derrykerrib at 10am this morning, passing Main Street and Bridge Street in Newtownbutler, for funeral Mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception. The service will be streamed on church services TV, which can be accesse here: https://www.churchservices.tv/newtownbutler
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