THE people of Lurgan have voted Bridie McGoldrick as their Person to be Proud of.
Bridie has worked tirelessly for the charity United Christian Aid - set up by her late husband Michael following the murder in 1996 of their only child also called Michael.
Her 31-year-old son was shot dead by the UVF while he worked as a taxi driver in Lurgan.
The murder was at the height of the Drumcree crisis in 1997 and her husband Michael made headlines across the world when he said he forgave his son’s killers.
Seven months after Michael was shot by the UVF, his father said to Bridie: “Our child doesn’t need us any more but other children do.”
The pair became quietly immersed in charity work, and set up United Christian Aid which works mostly in Eastern Europe and Africa.
After her husband’s death in 2006 Bridie said she didn’t know what to do but believes God gave her the strength to carry on the work of the charity.
A humble woman, Bridie works quietly within her local community and those who know her say her tireless work is inspirational.
Having started out in Romania the charity she now helps to run has moved to helping villages and families in Moldova where £10 a month can help sponsor entire families.
Her energy and enthusiasm drives hundreds to rally round, collecting clothes, blankets furniture and other goods to bring out to Moldova.
And last Christmas alone, more than £12,000 was raised in Lurgan for United Christian Aid.
“Only by the grace of God and the people who give and give again and again, “ said Bridie.
Though crippled with arthritis and suffering from a heart condition, Bridie says her brain is going all the time.
When asked how much they may have raised over the years, she said: “I have never counted the money. It was never ours. It was always God’s.”
Sponsored by the Lurgan Mail, the people of Lurgan voted overwhelmingly for Bridie as their Person to Be Proud Of.
As a tribute to her, The Premier Bar has offered her a meal for two, while florist Raining Roses in North Street are giving her a bouquet of flowers.
Moutray’s Costcutters has given her a gift voucher and Mayor of Craigavon Carla Lockhart has invited Bridie to have tea at the Mayor’s Parlour.