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Fermanagh man Jonathan Gormley killed by falling tree in Donegal to be buried

By Cate McCurry

Published 24/12/2015

Jonathan was a keen fisherman and his parents run the popular Dulrush Fishing Lodge in Belleek
Jonathan was a keen fisherman and his parents run the popular Dulrush Fishing Lodge in Belleek
Accident victim Jonathan Gormley with his partner Mairead Coughlin and children Jack (6) and Oran (3)

A father-of-two from Fermanagh who died in a freak accident while working will be buried today.

Jonathan Gormley was alone when he was struck from behind by a tree.

The 29-year-old from Belleek, who works as a tree surgeon, had been felling some wind-blown timber at Meenadreen, Co Donegal, when the accident happened on Monday.

Mr Gormley, who is father to six-year-old Jack and three-year-old Oran, was taken to Letterkenny University Hospital, where a post-mortem took place.

The area where he died has been sealed off and two separate investigations are being carried out by Gardai and the Health and Safety Authority.

Jonathan's brother Ben said he would be badly missed by his whole family, including his heartbroken partner, Mairead Coughlin, and his two young boys.

"He devoted all his time to his two boys and his partner and spent a lot of time fishing," Ben said. "We are all heartbroken - he will be greatly missed and it will be a tough Christmas. He had moved to Ballyshannon with his family."

Mr Gormley's parents, James and Bridie, run the popular Dulrush Fishing Lodge in Belleek.

Neighbour and family friend, John Coyle, who grew up with Mr Gormley, said the community had been left devastated.

It is the second tragedy to hit two local communities following the death of seven-year-old Ryan McGovern, who was killed in a road accident earlier this week near Garrison, just a few miles from Belleek.

Both communities will pay tribute to the schoolboy and Mr Gormley by lighting candles in their homes on Christmas Day.

Mr Coyle, a SDLP councillor for the local area, said people had been left numb by the tragedies.

"The communities of Belleek and Garrison are devastated. It's unbelievable that two tragedies that have happened within a space of two days," he added.

"Everyone is rallying around the families. On Christmas Day everyone is going to light a candle in their homes in remembrance for the McGovern and Gormley families to remember their sons. They will then be taking pictures and posting them online.

"I went to primary and secondary school with Jonny and we are family friends, so I know him very well."

Mr Gormley's funeral will be held today at St Patrick's Church, Belleek, after which he will be buried in the adjoining cemetery. He is survived by survived by his partner, sons, father James, mother Bridie and brothers Jamie, Ben and Oliver.

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