Mark H Durkan 'blown away' after late sister's long-lost photo found in charity shop

Gay and Mark H Durkan in the photo found in a Derry charity shop.

A Foyle MLA says he was "blown away" after a photo of his late sister was returned to him by a friend - after it was randomly found among the pages of a book in a charity shop.

The picture featuring Mark H Durkan and his sister Gay, who died 11 years ago, was taken on the night of her school formal.

Since her death, his family had not been able to locate the picture until a friend's mother found it within the pages of a book in a charity shop.

Her son, a friend of the politician returned it to his great delight.

But it seems a mystery remains as to how it turned up in the book.

In an emotional Facebook post Mr Durkan said: "I have often wondered about this photograph - over the years I've had a few searches among her old possessions in the hope that it would turn up.

"I've asked others if they'd any idea where it might be.

"It had vanished.

"I am overjoyed to have got it now but have no explanation as to how this all came about.

"Nobody in our house remembers having that book or even seeing that book...and I can't imagine it would be the type of book that Gay would have bought herself."

Tributes have been paid to Gay over the years.

Mr Durkan said he thinks about her and misses her every day.

He told his Facebook followers he remembers 'her craic and compassion every day' but cannot understand the mystery surrounding the photograph.

Mark said he had spoken before about the signs we get from people we love who are no longer with us.

"Gay always loved the paranormal and supernatural stuff.

"She was hugely interested in 'mysteries' and unexplained phenomena...and I know she would be absolutely buzzing about the 'Mystery of the formal photo'!

"I've spoken before about signs that we get from people we love who are no longer with us.

"To me, this is a sign that Gay is still with us."

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