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poignant Tributes paid after late campaigning Newry couple laid to rest together

The couple had five children and their grandson, who is a former councillor for Newry, Kevin McAteer, said they “couldn’t live without each other in this life or the next”.

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Patsy and Peter McAteer were laid to rest together

Patsy and Peter McAteer were laid to rest together

Patsy and Peter McAteer were laid to rest together

A Newry couple who died within just a few hours of each other have been laid to rest together.

Patsy (79) and Peter McAteer (83) both passed away on Thursday and were laid to rest yesterday.

Patsy passed away in Craigavon Hospital and her husband died just a few hours later on Thursday evening.

Patsy was the sister of one of those known as the Disappeared during the Troubles.

Her brother, Seamus Ruddy, was abducted by the INLA in Paris, where he worked as a teacher, before being driven to northern France where he was tortured and his body buried.

Before she passed, Patsy campaigned tirelessly for the whereabouts of her brother’s body to be revealed, and in 2017 his remains were finally recovered in the Rouen area of Normandy.

The couple had five children and their grandson, who is a former councillor for Newry, Kevin McAteer, said they “couldn’t live without each other in this life or the next."

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Seamus Ruddy: abducted and killed by the INLA in 1985

Seamus Ruddy: abducted and killed by the INLA in 1985

Seamus Ruddy: abducted and killed by the INLA in 1985

He added: “Granda Peter and Nanny Patsy raised us. Patsy was like a mummy and nanny rolled in one.

“Granda was a gentleman and one of the nicest men you will ever meet. They will be missed.”

Both Peter and Patsy worked in the Newry area to help people overcome addiction.

In a statement released by the WAVE Trauma Centre on Thursday, where Patsy attended a drop in centre, a spokesperson said: ‘Our good friend Patsy McAteer, sister of Seamus Ruddy died today. Her husband Peter passed away tonight.’

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They added: "Patsy was full of life. She loved colour, she was creative, and she was full of craic.

"She campaigned endlessly for the return of Seamus. She accompanied her sister Ann to meetings near and far.

"She rejoiced when Seamus was returned home. Her work was then done.

"Everyone loved Patsy in WAVE’s Newry drop in. We will all miss her. May she and Peter rest in peace.’

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