10 Aug 2022

Son of former Sinn Fein MLA killed in US to be laid to rest in Derry on Monday

Born in 1963, Martin Nelis was the sixth son of Mary and the late Billy Nelis. Martin was a former student of St Columb’s College and graduated from Queen’s University with a degree in Engineering. A life-long Irish republican, in his student days, he was active in the H-Block/Armagh campaigns, especially during the hunger strikes of 1980 and 1981. While at Queens, he was involved in Irish language, Stop the Show Trials and Free Nelson Mandela campaigns. He married Niki Maguire, an Irish-American in 1990. They had three children, Aidan, Fiona and Deirdre. In recent years, he worked for the City of Pleasant Hill as a Public Information Officer, organizing community and cultural events. Recently, he was involved in a successful community campaign to have a Public Library built in the city. Tragically, Martin was killed in a road traffic collision on Thursday 2nd August. He is survived by his children, Aidan, Fiona and Deirdre; his mother Mary, siblings, Donncha, Liam, John, Patrick, Declan, Cathy and Frank; his sisters-in-law, Karen, Pauline, Deirdre, Denee and Karen; his brother-in-law, Declan; and his many nieces and nephews. Martin was pre-deceased by his brother, Peter who also died aged 18 in a road traffic accident in 1974. Martin’s life will be celebrated by his family, friends and colleagues in America on Thursday 9th August in Pleasant Hill. His remains will be cremated and his ashes carried home to Derry by his children on Sunday 12th August. He will arrive back home at 5.00pm. The house will be private until 8.00pm that evening. On Monday 13th August, Martin’s remains will be removed from his mother’s house at 55 Dove Gardens for Requiem Mass at 10.00am in Long Tower Church. Interment immediately afterwards in the City Cemetery. At 5.00pm on Monday 13th August, there will be a celebration of Martin’s life in the Gasyard. Martin’s children and his family in Ireland want to invite Martin’s friends to be part of this celebration in songs and words. The family asked for family flowers only and donations in lieu of flowers to Suaimhneas síoraí dá anam uasal. Pictured above: The late Martin Nelis pictured with his son, Aidan, and daughters, Deirdre and Fiona.

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