Belfast Telegraph

Friends pay tribute to genial Castlewellan tradesman who lost his life in road accident

By Brett Campbell

Tributes have been paid to Castlewellan man Gary Lennon who died in a single-vehicle collision on Thursday night.

The 45-year-old tradesman from Aughlisnafin, was driving a blue BMW which crashed on the Dublin Road around 10pm.

Father Denis McKinley of St Malachy's Church where Mr Lennon was a parishioner, said the incident had devastated the entire family.

Mr Lennon's parents Sean and Anne are still coming to terms with losing their son Francis just four years ago.

"This is the second son who died before his time so it's very raw," Fr McKinley said.

"It's a very sad time for them and they are just trying to come to terms with what has happened.

"The parish feels for them and will be praying for them."

The clergyman, who rushed to the scene of the crash, said: "It's a terrible tragedy that such a young man in many ways has lost his life, especially in this way."

Fr McKinley extended his condolences to Mr Lennon's devastated family including his sisters Sinead and Caroline and brother Paul.

Yesterday, close friend David Connolly paid an emotional tribute to the popular plasterer.

"I'm absolutely devastated to have lost such a great friend, Gary was like family to me," he said.

"He was a true gentleman who always wore his heart on his sleeve and always wore a smile on his face."

Mr Connolly, a fencing and decking specialist, said Gary had been working alongside him since the end of April.

"He always helped out with plastering, but in recent weeks he really helped me out with everything," he said.

"He was the best plasterer in the country, a perfectionist who was capable of doing the fancy stuff, but he really enjoyed being outside and having the craic. He was a genuine guy and took great pride in his work. He would have done anything for anyone.

"I really liked his work, but I loved Gary for the open and honest person that he was."

Mr Connolly, who recently attended the Balmoral show with Gary, said his friend had a great passion for motorbikes outside his workplace.

"He owned a nice motorbike, and worked as a road marshal for vintage tractor rallies," he said.

Requiem Mass will be held at 9.30am tomorrow at The Church Of The Immaculate Conception in Aughlisnafin.

Belfast Telegraph

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