Tributes are being paid to an Omagh farmer who passed away in the early hours of Monday morning at the age of 34.
Derek Walker was a founding member of Fair Price Farming NI, which is been active in recent months in campaigning for improved milk prices for producers.
It is understood a post mortem has been carried out following Mr Walker’s sudden death at his home at Blackfarm Road, Omagh.
He is survived by his wife Michelle and young children Jack and Gracie.
As well as being a respected dairy farmer Mr Walker was also well known in pipe and flute band circles.
A post on the Fair Price Farming NI facebook page on Monday stated: “Today we lost a top man, a good friend and a fellow farmer. One of the men who has been in fair price from the start. Everyone is devastated and will sorely miss our good friend. The best are always taken too young. Thoughts and prayers with your family at this time. Rest in peace Derek.”
There have been dozens of tributes posted on social media since Mr Walker’s sudden passing.
Lisburn and Castlereagh Councillor Luke Poots was amongst those who expressed sympathy: “He was a hard working gentleman. We met during some of the toughest times in agriculture where he fought hard for the farming community. He will be missed by so many. Thoughts and prayers with the family, safe in the arms of Jesus.”
Tributes have also been paid by Drumquin Pipe Band: “We regret to hear of the passing of Derek Walker, and pass on our heartfelt sympathies to his wife Michelle and the entire family circle. Derek was a great friend of Drumquin Pipe Band and was a guest player with us on occasion.”
Mr Walker’s funeral is due to take place tomorrow (Friday) in Drumquin Presbyterian Church, followed by interment in the adjoining graveyard.
Donations in lieu of flowers are for the British Heart Foundation.