Tragic farmer Harry Gibson was to announce engagement

Harry Gibson
Harry Gibson

The heartbroken mother of a young Co Tyrone farmer who died at the weekend has told how her son was planning to announce his engagement later this year.

Harry Gibson, from Beragh, passed away on Saturday as a result of a tragic accident on his farm.

Mourners gathered at Sixmilecross Presbyterian Church today to pay their final respects to the 25-year-old.

During the service, Harry’s mother Susan said he had invested in an engagement ring during a recent summer holiday with his girlfriend Alison Allen.

“Though not to be officially announced until later this year, this signalled their love for and commitment to each other and plans for a long-term future together,” she added.

Describing her son – the first born of two twins – as a “quiet, modest and private person”, Susan said he would be greatly missed by all those who knew and loved him.

“He had a wide circle of brilliant friends who respected his quiet and private ways and understood his dry wit and quirky sense of humour,” she told mourners.

“They appreciated that he often didn’t have much to say but when he did, it was always worth listening to.”

Susan said it was evident from an early age that her son was “destined” to become a farmer, recalling how his birthday and Christmas presents as a child all related to farming.

She told how Harry had worked hard to build up his livestock and his farm, which “meant the world to him”.

Harry was a keen rugby player, often playing for his former school Omagh Academy and occasionally for Omagh Academicals RFC.

Paying tribute on Facebook, Omagh Academy said Harry was a “quiet gentleman” who had been the First XV team’s top try scorer in 2010-11, helping them progress to the final of the School’s Trophy competition that season.

But his farming commitments tended to take priority on a Saturday morning, his mother said.

Harry’s father Mervyn is a cattle auctioneer who is well-known in farming circles across the Province, as was his later grandfather Sammy.

Susan recounted how Harry felt “honoured” to attend cattle marts with his grandfather, and said her son had credited him with teaching him the tricks of the trade.

Harry often worked outside his own farm and his mother said he had been “only too happy to prioritise the needs of his neighbours and friends when they needed his assistance”.

The 25-year-old had returned to education in recent years, and in June of this year he completed a degree in food management.

He was also a member of Cloughfin LOL 1277 and was actively involved in Seskinore Young Farmers’ Club.

Harry’s mother said he had been looking forward to a “bright future”, but had “left us all too soon as a result of a tragic accident”

“His family and friends are somewhat comforted by the fact that he did not want to leave them and they will always remember his with great pride and joy,” she added.

His twin sister Charlotte also paid tribute by sharing recent and childhood pictures taken with her brother on social media.

Alison also shared a collection of pictures of herself and Harry on Facebook and commented: “My Harry. This world is a cruel, cruel place.”

Following the service, Harry was laid to rest in the adjoining churchyard.