Friday 9 December 2016

'Our rock, our best friend, our hero' - heartbroken young daughters of Irish construction worker killed in tragic accident

Graham Clifford

Published 08/11/2016 | 14:20

Robert English
Robert English

The three heart-broken young daughters of Robert English, a construction worker from Gowran in County Kilkenny who died while working on a motorway in England last month, have described him as “our rock, our best friend, our hero.”

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Mr English (47), who lived in Luton with his wife Caroline Kelly English, from Ballybunion in Kerry, was struck by a construction dumper vehicle while working on a stretch of the M1 motorway near Northampton on the morning of October 10th.

He had just started his shift when the tragic accident occurred and was only employed in his new job a matter of weeks.

His daughters Samantha (13), Rebecca (9) and Jennifer (5) wrote a joint tribute to their devoted father this week saying: “We look up into the sky to wish you a goodnight. You were and always will be special to us. You were our rock. You made our lives complete and we are heartbroken that you are not here anymore to play and make us laugh - we miss your jokes. We know you are looking down on us and keeping us strong. We know you wouldn't want us to be sad…so we just want you to know that we will keep our heads held high and do you proud.”

Family friend Eddie Doherty who owns the Pines Hotel in Luton where Robert was a regular said of him: “He was a great guy, a great family man and we’re all devastated by his loss. He loved his horses and was so proudly Irish. Now we’re trying to do what we can to help Caroline and the girls. Our heart goes out to them.”

A JustGiving page was set up in conjunction with the Lighthouse Club, a charity which supports construction workers and their families at times of hardship, so people can support Robert’s grieving family. It has already raised just over £7,300 (€8,200)

In addition, the Kerry Association in London has donated around €6,000 to the family - the proceeds from the auction at the annual Kerry Association London dinner.

Northamptonshire Police and the Health and Safety Executive in the UK are investigating the death of Mr English and are still seeking witnesses to the accident.

Mr English’s funeral will take place on November 17th and 18th in Luton.

To donate to the Justgiving site set up in memory of Robert English and to assist his family visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/in-memory-robert-english

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