Monday 20 August 2018

'Gary will be remembered for his smiling face' - tributes paid to tragic hero who saved brother's life

Hero Gary Askin (28) called ambulance and saved sibling before falling ill

Gary, left, and Stephen Askin, the brothers involved in the fatal incident at the mushroom factory
Gary, left, and Stephen Askin, the brothers involved in the fatal incident at the mushroom factory
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A family has been left devastated after a young man died while saving his brother following an accident at work.

Gary Askin (28) died at a mushroom growing house in Emyvale, Co Monaghan, where he was working alongside his brother Stephen and a third worker shortly after 8pm on Wednesday.

Gary has been hailed a hero after saving his brother's life.

It is believed that Stephen became trapped in an overhead industrial bin and Gary went to his aid.

Local people said Stephen was already suffering from toxic fumes and was unable to help Gary when he got into difficulty too.

It is believed that Gary had already called emergency services for help before he went to his brother's aid.

When the ambulance arrived, Gary had been overcome by fumes.

"It's just unbelievable. Everyone is devastated," Independent councillor Seamus Treanor told the Herald.

"I know the family, and for something like this to happen is just unimaginable."

Mr Treanor said he knew something was wrong when the village came to a standstill and it became apparent there was an incident at the factory.

"Traffic was coming to a standstill, with a helicopter, ambulances and the fire brigade attending the scene," he said.

Mr Treanor said the Askin family were a "major part of the make-up of Emyvale".

Fine Gael councillor David Maxwell said it was a "very tragic incident".

"It's a very close-knit community and it will be a big shock to everyone there," he said.

Gary was heavily involved with Emyvale GAA club along with his brother.

"A black cloud descended over Emyvale when the news broke that Gary Askin had lost his life in a workplace accident while trying to save others," said a club spokesperson.

"Gary was a member of Emyvale GAA Club from the age of 10 and played at every level. He was part of the under-14 team that won the county league in 2003.

"After retiring from football, he still supported the senior team where his brothers Brendan and Stephen played. His sister Laura was part of the Emyvale ladies senior team.

"Gary will be remembered especially for his smiling face, witty remarks, good humour, great personality and love of life.

"We offer our sincere sympathies to Geraldine, Eddie, Brendan, Laura, Stephen, Aoife and his extended family and friends."

Sinn Fein councillor Brian McKenna said: "It's very sad. Stephen became trapped in the bin and Gary rang straight away for an ambulance.

"He managed to get his brother out but then Gary became trapped. It's very tragic. Gary died after saving his brother's life."

St Macartan's College, which both brothers attended, paid tribute to Gary and sent its condolences to the Askin family.


"Gary was a very quiet, well- mannered and extremely co-operative student," the school said. "It is a very tragic accident."

Separate investigations have been launched into the incident by the gardai and the Health and Safety Authority.

A garda spokesperson confirmed that "one person was fatally injured and another two people were injured in the accident".

A post-mortem is understood to have taken place yesterday.

Gary's body will be reposing at his home from 4pm today.

The funeral Mass will take place on Sunday at 11.30am in St Patrick's Church, Corracrin, followed by burial in the cemetery there.

Irish Independent

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