Sunday 19 November 2017

Village in shock as dad of three dies in shed explosion

Aidan Cummins (inset) from Carrick-on-Bannow, South Wexford
Aidan Cummins (inset) from Carrick-on-Bannow, South Wexford

Gavin White and Amy Molloy

Tributes have been paid to a father-of-three who died after an explosion in his shed at his Co Wexford home.

The man - named locally as mechanic Aidan Cummins (53), from the village of Carrig-on-Bannow in south Wexford - was working in his shed when the incident occurred at approximately 7am.

A full garda investigation is being carried out, but it is being treated as an accident. The Health & Safety Authority is also investigating.

Mr Cummins, known locally as 'Bugsy', operated his mechanics business from his family home.

Early indications from the investigation into Mr Cummins's death on Saturday morning suggest an aerosol can accidentally fell into a homemade incinerator and exploded. It is believed Mr Cummins was burning material in the incinerator at the time.

One theory investigators are examining is that the resulting explosion caused the door of the incinerator to burst off and strike Mr Cummins on the head, causing critical injuries.

He was rushed to Wexford General Hospital, but pronounced dead a short time later.

He is survived by his wife Joan and their three children Cathal (15), Ciara (12) and Cian (9).

Local Fine Gael councillor Willie Fitzharris said the whole community was "traumatised".

"We're all devastated. He has three young children and was very well liked in the community. He loved his family and was a very unassuming man," he said.

"He's a mechanic by trade and loved cars and the GAA. He was such a hard worker."

Another neighbour said he was a very popular figure in the area. "He was a very helpful man, always willing to help others. It's extremely sad that this has happened and our sympathies go to his wife and family," he said. "The whole area has been left devastated."

Father James Kehoe, parish priest and friend of the family, said that yesterday's mass was a "sombre" occasion. "It is a fine rural community here and obviously the people are deeply affected."

Mr Cummins's family are actively involved with the local GAA club, Bannow-Ballymitty.

The family recently celebrated the confirmation of their daughter, who is a member of the Under-13 development squad for Wexford GAA.

Wexford Ladies U-14 football team held a minute's silence before their game against Westmeath on Saturday in memory of Mr Cummins.

A wake was held yesterday at Mr Cummins's home as friends and family gathered to show their support.

His funeral mass will take place tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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