Farm Ireland

Saturday 24 February 2018

'A smile to melt a heart' - community grieve death of boy (4) in farm accident

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Claire Williamson

A child who died in a farm incident in Fermanagh has been described as having the "smile to melt a heart and a glint in the eye to add the spark".

It is understood the youngster was killed in an incident involving a JCB-type digger.

Police attended a farm in the Maguiresbridge area at around 8.30pm on Thursday following a report of an incident involving a four-year-old boy.

The family have requested privacy at this difficult time.

The Maguiresbridge Methodist Church will be open from 7pm on Friday night to allow people to come together following the incident.

The little boy's scout group paid a moving tribute to him.

They said: "We are absolutely dumbfounded and shocked to hear the tragic news of losing one of our members.

"We want to express our deepest sympathy to the family of our "little squirrel" who was taken from us tragically in a farm acciident.

"For me, he was the one with the smile to melt a heart and the glint in the eye to add the spark.

"He will be deeply missed by all his fellow Squirrels and indeed all the scouting members and leaders. Rest in peace wee man xx."

The youngster was a primary one pupil at Maguiresbridge Primary School.

In a statement the Principal Mrs Honor Irvine described him as a "beautiful, much loved child".

"He was a beautiful, much loved child who added a great deal to the lives of all he touched here in Maguiresbridge Primary School. He loved life and lit up the classroom with his beautiful smile.

"The Education Authority’s ‘Critical Incident Team’ has been at the school to offer reassurance, advice, guidance and emotional support to pupils and staff.

"Although we, as a school family, are deeply hurt by the loss, our thoughts, prayers and sincerest condolences are with the whole family at this time."

DUP leader Arlene Foster expressed her sympathy to the family.

The Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA said: "This is devastating news and I wish to express my sympathy to the family.

"In the close knit farming community of Fermanagh, news of this untimely death has caused a great deal of shock.

"The family will be in my thoughts and prayers today and in the weeks to come, as they mourn the loss of a young life taken under such tragic circumstances."

UUP MP for Fermanagh Tom Elliott knows the family and said the incident has shocked the entire community.

He said the little boy was very pleasant and that the family are well-known and respected in the area.

He said: "People are just in absolute shock and it's one of those tragedies that effects almost the entire community.

"The biggest impact is on the immediate family but the community feel a sense of loss as well.

“As a farmer and parent myself, I am only too aware of the dangers on a farm. No one ever thinks these accidents will happen and all I can do at this time is to offer the family my sympathy and support in the aftermath of this tragedy."

Police said the child was pronounced dead at the scene.

Inspector Glen Latimer said: "Local PSNI will work closely with the Health and Safety Executive as they investigate the circumstances.”

Belfast Telegraph

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