TRIBUTES have been paid to a father-of-four who died in tragic accident on his family farm in Lisnaskea on Monday afternoon.
It’s understood that Gerard (Gerry) Collins died after being trapped by a slurry mixer on his family farm on the Moughley Road at Aghamore South. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Emergency services including ambulance and fire crews and police were called to the farm at around 12 noon. A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive said it was aware of the fatality and is investigating the cause of Mr Collins’ death. A post-mortem is due to take place today (Wednesday).
Neighbour Eddie Teague told the Herald: “I heard shouting and went over to the farm. I alerted his father to what had happened but sadly nobody could have saved him. It’s terrible as I remember Gerard being born. He was a very nice, quiet and modest man and you couldn’t ask for a better neighbour if you tried.
“I have lived beside the family for 57 years and know his parents and knew his grandparents. I feel very sorry for them all facing this terrible tragedy.”
Prayers were said for the Collins family at Mass at Holy Cross Church in Lisnaskea yesterday morning (Tuesday) where his funeral will take place this Friday.
The 45-year-old full-time farmer is survived by his wife Claire (nee Carragher) who he married in 1999 and their four children Ryan (16), Sinead (15), Darragh (13) and Meabh who turned ten yesterday (Tuesday).
They are mourning their devastating loss this week alongside Gerard’s parents Liam and Verena, siblings Catherine (Monaghan), Ollie, Joan (McGrath) and Richard, sisters-in-law Kerri and Sarah, brothers-in-law Anthony, Dermot and Aidan, Aunt Kathleen, niece, nephews, cousins and a large circle of family and friends.
Speaking to the Herald yesterday, Gerry sister’s Joan paid tribute to “the driving force behind this family”.
“He was the main man in our family and anybody who had any problems, no matter what it was, you would have went to Gerry. He would have put you on the right road and he really was the cog in the wheel. Gerry lived for the farm and was devoted to his family. He and Claire did everything and went everywhere together – they were with each other all the time. We are all heartbroken to lose Gerry.”
Local elected representatives also expressed their shock and sadness following the tragedy and extended their sympathies to the family.
Gerry’s remains will be reposing at his late residence from this evening until removal on Friday morning at 10.30am to arrive at Holy Cross Church, Lisnaskea for 11 o’clock funeral Mass with burial afterwards at the adjoining cemetery.