‘We have lost the main man in our lives’, mourners are told

The funeral of County Down farmer, Lee Gilliland, was held this afternoon at First Dromore Presbyterian Church.
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Mr Gilliland, who was just 44 years of age, died following a tragic accident on the farm on Saturday 10 September.

Speaking this afternoon, Rev Jonny McKane said it was fitting to see such a large congregation gathered to pay their respects to a ‘loved and devoted’ family man who was a ‘friend to many’.

Mr Gilliland’s daughter, Zoe, gave a moving tribute to her daddy.

Lee GillilandLee Gilliland
Lee Gilliland

She said her father had grown up on the Kilntown Road, Dromore, and that, growing up in a farming community, he always had a passion for that way of life.

“Farm contracting was clearly a pathway for daddy,” Zoe said, “he worked doing jobs for those who asked.”

She added: “He was never more happy and always loved the outdoors.”

When Mr Gilliland met his partner Shirley, it was the “perfect partnership”.

“They both loved farming and all things agricultural,” Zoe explained.

Upon moving to Greenogue Road, “daddy got to fulfil a dream and run his own farm with mummy,” his heartbroken daughter continued.

“Samuel and I have been told we were the loves of his life and that we meant the world to him – right back at you daddy.

“He was proud of us and quietly satisfied, as we grew up he could see we were going to follow him into the world of farming.

“Away from cows and tractors, and in his spare time, he had a love for Formula 1 motor racing and motorbikes, along with good food.”

Zoe said growing up in the farming community was a “wonderful way of life” for her daddy.

“He was always so happy with those around him.”

“There are not enough words to describe daddy’s personality, but here are some that come to mind – kind, caring, considerate, generous, courteous, funny and always a man to have a cup of tea with.”

She continued: “He was a fit, healthy man, full of life with so much more to give and so much to look forward to.

“Sadly on Saturday 10 September there was a tragic accident on the farm and we have lost the main man in our lives.”

Rev. McKane described Mr Gilliland as a “true gentleman” who, when asked to do anything, would say “not a bother”.

He was “popular, kind, caring, funny and a very hard worker,” the minister said, “deeply dedicated to his family and friends”.

Mr Gilliland was the dearly loved and devoted partner of Shirley, devoted father of Zoe and Samuel, cherished son of William and Eileen and dear brother of Graeme, Colin and Lynne.

The funeral service was followed by committal in Dromore New Cemetery.

Donations, if desired, will go to the Air Ambulance Northern Ireland who attended the scene of Saturday’s tragic accident.

They can be sent C/O Robert J. Bready, Funeral Director, 22 Newry Road, Rathfriland, BT34 5AL (cheques made payable to Robert Bready).

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