Monday 19 February 2018

Family's heartbreak at loss of Kevin (33)

The late Kevin Banville.
The late Kevin Banville.

THE GRIEVING family of Kevin Banville (33) – who died in a farm accident on St Patrick's Day – have spoken of their devastation following his tragic death.

A huge crowd attended Kevin's funeral at Newbawn church on Thursday, reflecting the popularity of the married, father-of-two from Carrigadaggin.

Kevin had been looking forward to attending the St Patrick's Day Parade in New Ross with his wife and two young children but the day ended in tragedy after his remains were discovered in a field near his home, close to the pinnacle landmark, in the early afternoon.

It is understood Kevin died following an accident which occurred while he was out tending to cattle in a field. The Health and Safety Authority and the gardaí are investigating the cause of the accident.

Kevin is survived by his heartbroken wife Diane; sons Ryan and Cillian; mother Stasia; brothers, sisters; uncles, aunts-in-law; mother-in-law Claire; father-in-law Francie; nephews, nieces, relatives and friends. He was predeceased by his father Jimmy.

Describing his loss as a devastating blow, the Banville family are still coming terms with the loss of Kevin, who was married to Diane 11 months ago and celebrated the birth of his son Cillian five weeks before the accident which claimed his life.

Kevin was the youngest child of Jim and Stasia Banville. He attended Newbawn NS and Good Counsel College and played for Adamstown GAA Club. From a young age farming was a great passion of Kevin's and he went on to win major competitions for the quality of the cattle he kept.

Trained as a plumber Kevin established his own business, which he ran for several years.

A family member said: 'If one thing wasn't succeeding for him he would just turn his hand to something else.'

Kevin's family remember him as a friendly, down to earth man who loved having the craic and who was devoted to his wife and children who were the joy of his life.

He had a strong circle of friends, many of whom he knew from childhood, but he also made many friends later in life, such was his friendly personality. One Longford man he had been doing business with travelled to Kevin's funeral at Newbawn church even though he had never met him; while another friend travelled from Australia.

He started breeding pedigree Belgian blue cattle four years ago and also kept a commercial herd. In October all his effort paid off when he won the champion title in the premier autumn Belgian blues sale in Roscrea. The judge was so impressed he ended up buying the winning animal from Kevin.

He also won first place at the Tullamore Show.

A great neighbour, Kevin was known as the 'go to' man in the community, whether there was a problem that needed fixing or to lend an ear to someone by offering advice.

In recent years he committed himself to learning as much as he could about cattle and achieved certificates in artificial insemination, fertility testing and scanning for calves.

His love of animals extended beyond his farm and he had a particular fondness for dogs.

Kevin was from a very close family and living beside his mother, he always took time to visit her and to ensure her house was warm for her while she was away on occasional visits to her children's homes. He would call into her every day and keep her updated about all the latest news.

Kevin met Diane Kelly from Clare on a night out in Adamstown and before long they were in a steady relationship. They had a common love of sport and the outdoors and Clare's love of the Munster rugby team was the source of lots of banter between her and Kevin, a devoted Leinster fan.

The happy couple enjoyed hill walking and climbed Croagh Patrick together and did the Mount Leinster Challenge.

They enjoyed seven wonderful years in each other's company and were married 11 months ago. A family member said: 'He was never happier than how he was over the past few years.'

The couple were overjoyed when they had Ryan two years ago and Cillian, who was born on Kevin's birthday on February 11. 'His life was complete once Cillian was born,' a family member said.

On the day before the accident Kevin was fixing up a trampoline for Ryan, who was out helping him wearing a hi-vis jacket with Daddy's Little Helper written on it.

At his funeral on Thursday the jacket was one of a number of gifts brought to the altar, along with his phone because he was always on it and the sash he won in Roscrea in October.

Adamstown GAA Club formed a guard of honour for Kevin as rain fell on the mourners.

Kevin was laid to rest afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

His family wish to thank their neighbours for their overwhelming support in recent days.

New Ross Standard

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