Bishop leads prayers for others still missing

24 September 2010 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By PATSY McARDLE
THE funeral took place at St. Patrick’s Church, Crossmaglen, on Saturday last of the  57-years-old  father of five, Charlie  Armstrong, from Rathview Park, Crossmaglen, whose body was  recovered in a bog in Co. Monaghan, close to the  Monaghan-Armagh border, two months ago.
His  remains were found at  Colgagh Bog, near Cullaville, on July 29th.
The auxiliary bishop of Armagh,  Bishop Gerard Clifford, who presided at the  Requiem Mass, said the recovery of  the  body provided hope for the families of all the others whose  remains were still not found and he appealed to anybody with a shred of information, that might help the remains of   those still missing to be located,  to come forward. Any information they had would be explored to the full, Bishop Clifford promised.
Recalling that the late Mr. Armstrong disappeared after leaving his  home in Crossmaglen to bring an elderly neighbour to church on August  16th 1981, Bishop Clifford said  they were now gathered in the church  to finally welcome his arrival.
He said: “Twenty-nine years ago he set out for Mass here in St  Patrick’s Church Crossmaglen—today he completes that journey.
Twenty nine years is a long time to wait for his arrival but today we  thank God that he has completed that journey and he now rests in peace”.
Bishop Clifford said that over the  years  the  Armstrong  family had  never given up hope of his return. “They have made their own journey of sadness and grief but like the words of St Paul in our second  reading they “hoped against hope”. At times there were indications that there might be good news. Times they hoped against  hope. Often times their hopes were shattered. But for 29 years the  Armstrongs persisted in their demands that a husband, and  father,  would be given a proper burial, a place where they could gather and  remember, a dignified place, a dignified burial.”
He said that over  the years the Armstrong family had  been persistent  in their plea to find their loved one so that he could have a  dignified burial and their search had now ended.

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