Sunday 25 February 2018

Farmer friends die in separate tragedies on the same day

The overturned tractor on the N15 road in Ballintra, Co Donegal, yesterday
The overturned tractor on the N15 road in Ballintra, Co Donegal, yesterday

Greg Harkin

TWO farmers who knew each other died in separate accidents at the same time near their village.

Pat McCafferty's body was found at the bottom of a deep ditch 5km from the south Donegal village of Ballintra around 10am yesterday.

Father-of-four Christy Lipsett (52) died when his tractor toppled over after it was in a collision with a car just outside Ballintra half an hour later.

The two deaths have stunned the close-knit rural area. Mr McCafferty (53), known as 'Scotch Paddy' because he spent many years in the west of Scotland, was found in the ditch in the townland of Derries where he farmed with his brother. It's thought he may have suffered head injuries in a fall.

Mr Lipsett, from the Cashel area of Ballintra, died at a notorious accident blackspot on the main N15 road between Donegal town and Ballyshannon.

Three people died at the same spot in an accident five years ago today.

Gardai have appealed for witnesses to the crash that killed Mr Lipsett to contact Ballyshannon garda station. The driver of the car was unhurt in yesterday's crash.

Cllr Brendan Travers said it was a dark day for Ballintra.

"We're stunned," he said. "There's no other way to describe a dark day like this.

"Two families in a small rural community are in deep mourning and the community will rally around to help them."

Church of Ireland Rev Brian Russell said: "Mr Lipsett was a much-loved member of our community and he leaves behind a devastated family, including four teenage children."

Irish Independent

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