The family of London Irish man Denis Murphy has spoken of their “pain, loss and sorrow” after he was formally identified as the 56th victim of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
Mr Murphy, 56, lived on the 14th floor of the tower and had contacted his sister Anne Marie telling her he was “trapped”, as the fire ripped through the 27-storey building in West London during the early hours of 14 June.
The family’s statement read in full: “After an agonising 10 weeks our beloved Denis has finally been identified.
“The pain, loss and sorrow we feel is indescribable and we have been left devastated with a gaping hole in our hearts that can never be filled.
“To us he was an inspiration and an amazing, selfless, caring person and we feel lucky and blessed that he was part of our family, and his warmth and love will stay with us forever.
“What really matters to us is what he stood for, family, friends, community, loyalty and love, and our lives will never be the same without him.”
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) 30 August 2017
The family had been “clinging onto hope” in the immediate aftermath of the fire.
A family spokesperson told Independent.ie at the time: “He [Mr Murphy] left his brother a voicemail at 1.30am saying, ‘I’m stuck in the fire, there’s black smoke everywhere and they are telling us to stay in the flat.
“His last contact was with his sister Anne Marie at 2am saying he was trapped and then his phone went dead.”
A father-of-one, Denis’ mother Anne moved from Limerick to the UK and although he was born in London and was described as “proudly English”, his family said he never lost touch with his Irish roots.
A family spokesperson said: “He is a Londoner and fiercely proud of that, but also proud of his Irish heritage.
“His mother moved to the UK in the late 1950s, the family is from Limerick and we still have a lot of relatives there.
“Denis is proudly English. Chelsea Football through and through. We often said if you cut him he would bleed blue for Chelsea.
“On and off he lived in the same block over 30 years on different floors, he lived on the 14th floor in flat 111.
“He is well known and well loved in the area.”