Funeral of three men killed in slurry tank tragedy

PACEMAKER BELFAST  15/09/2012''Nevin Spence down on the farm.''Milk It Northern Ireland Campaign''Photo Credit : John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL
PACEMAKER BELFAST 15/09/2012''Nevin Spence down on the farm.''Milk It Northern Ireland Campaign''Photo Credit : John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

THE funeral of three men killed in a farm accident on Saturday will take place tomorrow (Wednesday).

Local tributes have been paid to rugby star Nevin Spence, and his brother and father following their deaths in Saturday’s evening’s tragedy.

The three men will be buried at Lough Inch Cemetery following a thanksgiving service in Ballynahinch Baptist Church at 2pm.

The death of Nevin Spence, an Ulster rugby star, has been described as a ‘terrible shock’ by Banbridge Rugby Club stalwart David Dodds.

The club was due to play Nevin’s club, Ballynahinch, this weekend at every underage level up to U17 but those games have been postponed as a mark of respect, as has Banbridge’s monthly committee meeting.

David said, “Banbridge have always enjoyed a very close relationship with Ballynahinch RFC and, of course, our deepest sympathies go to everyone connected to the club and the Spence family,” said Mr Dodds.

“Nevin is only part of the tragedy here and we keep in mind his sisters, his mother, and his brother’s wife and two children.”

Just hours before his death Nevin attended a game at Dromore Rugby club pitch - where he had previously played with the U16 side.

It emerged yesterday that Nevin, his father Noel (52) and 30-year-old brother Graham - a married father-of-two - all died trying to help each other during Saturday’s accident.

Their sister Emma, who had been taken to hospital for treatment after inhaling fumes, was discharged on Monday.

Rev Rodney Stout, Senior Pastor at Ballynahinch Rugby Club, has paid tribute to the response from the community in supporting the Spence family.

“There has been widespread support for the family from people with experience in farming, the local farming fraternity and people from Ballynahinch Rugby Club,” he said.

“It has been very touching. Overall there has been widespread interest from people just trying to offer their help. So the farm is still running and going ahead as normal.”