Families trying to ‘come to terms’ with their loss

THE families of Noel, Graham and Nevin Spence have released a statement conveying their devastation following the weekend tragedy.

In the statement released on Sunday evening, the families said they were “trying to come to terms with their tragic loss”

It continued, “The three men were very close to each other in life and that love was expressed in their final moments trying to help one another.

“The family is being supported and comforted by other family members, friends and neighbours.”

Noel Spence (52) and his two sons, Graham (30) and Nevin (22) died on Saturday following a farming accident involving a slurry tank at their Drumlough Road farm near Hillsborough.

Rev Rodney Stout, senior pastor at the family’s place of worship, Ballynahinch Baptist Church, said the news had come as a great shock to the church family, as all three men were very well known in the congregation.

“Despite his fame and popularity as an Ulster rugby player, Nevin was regularly seen on car park attendant duties at church,” said the Rev Stout. “The family has taken some comfort from the three men’s faith, absolutely.

“This is not a tragedy without hope. That is what I reflected in church this morning (Sunday) to the congregation. This life is not all there is to live for. We have a greater hope and this is a help to those who are grieving.”

Noel leaves behind his wife Essie - mother to Graham and Nevin - and daughters Emma and Laura, beloved sisters of the two younger men. Graham also leaves a wife, Andrea, and two children, Nathan and Georgia.

Emma was also involved in the accident but was discharged from hospital yesterday (Monday).