Farm death victim was planning to get married

The death of a man in his 30s in a farming accident has once again served to highlight the hazardous nature of the whole industry, a unionist MP has declared.

Tuesday, 13th September 2016, 12:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 1:58 pm

Tom Elliott was among a number of figures voicing shock and sorrow at the death of the man on Sunday, in a rural area south of Dungannon.

It emerged yesterday the Ambulance Service had been summoned to the scene off Rhone Road at 1.47pm – however, it is understood the man died at the scene.

The victim was named as James Irwin.

Mr Elliott said he had been planning to get married “in the near future”.

The Ulster Unionist MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone said the incident “illustrates that the agricultural industry carries a more significant risk than any other industry and behind these statistics is a story of a grieving family, a community in shock and the need to make farms safer places”.

Condolences were voiced on the floor of the Assembly yesterday over the incident, with DUP MLA Lord Morrow offering his “sincere and deep sympathy” to the victim’s family.

It is believed the incident involved some kind of machinery, but there was no confirmation of this from the authorities.

The tragedy came just ahead of the fourth anniversary this Thursday of a slurry tank accident on a Hillsborough farm, which claimed the life of rugby player Nevin Spence, his brother Graham, and father Noel.