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Saturday 23 June 2018

Lone tractor leads funeral cortège of farmer who helped raise thousands for charity

A vintage Massey Ferguson 135 leads the funeral cortege of tragic Willie Wilson to Ray Church, Manorcunningham. (North West Newspix)
A vintage Massey Ferguson 135 leads the funeral cortege of tragic Willie Wilson to Ray Church, Manorcunningham. (North West Newspix)

Stephen Maguire

A lone red Massey Ferguson tractor led tragic Co Donegal farmer Willie Wilson to his final resting place this week.

The 68-year-old was killed after his tractor was involved in a collision at Drumoghill in the early hours of Friday morning last.

Popular single man Willie, who lived in Manorcunningham, had renovated the tractor and helped raise thousands of euro for many charities on various tractor runs.

He died instantly following the accident with a car at around 6.30am on the main Letterkenny to Lifford Road.

A large crowd braved freezing conditions for the funeral service at Ray Presbyterian Church in Manorcunningham on Tuesday and a lone vintage tractor led Willie's funeral cortege to his funeral mass before he was buried.

His funeral service heard how Willie lived a simple life and always put others before himself.

Willie had renovated the tractor and helped raise thousands of euro for many charities on various tractor runs.
Willie had renovated the tractor and helped raise thousands of euro for many charities on various tractor runs.

Among the mourners were members of Willie's friends from the Donegal Tractor Run who held a minute's silence in his honour during their run last Sunday.

Members of his local 'Tractor Run' paid tribute to Willie after he died instantly in a collision with a car at 6.30am last Friday on the main Letterkenny to Lifford Road.

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A Garda investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing and they have appealed for witnesses on what is a very busy road and who may have seen the deceased man in his tractor before the crash to come forward.

The Mayor of Donegal, Cllr Gerry McMonagle, said the accident was again a reminder of how dangerous our roads can be.

"Every time we go out on the roads we take our life in our hands.

"While we do not know the circumstances of this tragedy, I would appeal to people to slow down and to drive carefully at all times," he said.


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