TRIBUTES have been paid to the ‘quiet gentleman’ who was murdered in Lurgan at the weekend.
Andrew Lorimer was a man who “kept himself to himself” and his friends are shocked and devastated at the fate which has befallen the 43-year-old.
He is survived by his brothers David and Philip and his mother Marion.
Andrew was a familiar face in Lurgan Institute where he had many friends.
“Andy never said a cross word and was never in bad twist. He wouldn’t have done any harm to anyone,” said barman Alan Hamilton.
“He was a quiet gentleman who enjoyed a drink and a bit of banter about the football.
“He was a Spurs fan and was big into his music. Andy will be sadly missed at the Stute and our thoughts go out to his mum, Davy, Philip and the family circle.”
The ‘MAIL’ has learnt that Andrew was last seen on Friday afternoon. He’d been for a drink in the Institute and exchanged pleasantries with a friend on the way to Tesco.
It first became clear that something was not right, when Andrew failed to answer the door for an oil delivery on Saturday morning.
William Beck, a close friend of Andrew, said: “That wasn’t like Andrew. When he organised something he was 100% behind it.
“I rang him on Sunday to see if he wanted to go for a drink and watch the football. He didn’t answer and didn’t ring back. I knew something was wrong. He usually rings back straight away.
“When I heard about the police being there on Sunday I knew it was Andrew.”
William said: “We’ve been friends for 15 years or more. We were drinking partners and lived in same area.
“Andrew used to live in Ashleigh Crescent. He moved to Portlec Place in the last two months.
“He was a very quiet person. He would only speak when spoken to.
“We called him ‘Andy Backpack’ because he brought his backpack with him when he was getting a carry out of cider.”
William added: “We were together on Thursday having a drink. His budgie had died and we’d been joking about having a funeral for it.
“It’s devastating to think we’ll be going to Andrew’s funeral now. I’m dumbstruck by the whole thing.”
Colin Sloan was one of a number of people who paid tribute to Andrew on Facebook.
He said: “Will miss my closest friend and he was genuinely a whisker away from turning his life around following his recent troubles. A glimmer of hope that I have not seen him in years. A friend, an old comrade and a true gentleman.”
Another friend and neighbour of Andrew’s said: “It’s hard to take in what’s happened. Andrew was a friend of mine and lived just round the corner.
“He was a very, very quiet fella. The last person you could imagine getting into bother.
“I saw him on Friday. He was on his way to Tesco. We didn’t stop and chat, just said ‘Hello’ and went on, because it was so cold.”
Andrew had been married, but within the last year had separated from his wife. He’d only recently sold his house in Ashleigh Crescent and moved to Portlec Place.
The former Lurgan Junior High School pupil had served with the UDR and also worked as a canoeing instructor and security guard.
On Monday, Andy’s moped lay outside his downstairs flat as forensic officers swept the block of flats in Portlec Place looking for evidence. Neighbours spoke of their shock at the killing.
“This is a quiet area and he was a quiet man who kept himself to himself,” said one neighbour.
“It’s devastating to find out someone has been murdered on your doorstep. This part of Mourneview is mostly older people and there’s never any trouble.”
Another neighbour said: “It’s shocking to think this has happened in such a peaceful area. Those flats had got a bit of a reputation in the past for drink and drugs, but the ones living there recently were all people in their 40s who led very quiet lives.”