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Hilden Brewery tragedy: We'll miss him more than words can say... grieving family of boy who died in accident

By Claire McNeilly

Published 15/08/2015

Oliver Scullion (4) was killed in the accident at Hilden Brewery on Thursday
Oliver Scullion (4) was killed in the accident at Hilden Brewery on Thursday
Oliver Scullion (4) was killed in the accident at Hilden Brewery on Thursday

The grandfather of a four-year-old boy who died in a freak accident at a family-run brewery has said they are struggling to live without him as they released cherished family photographs of him.

Oliver Scullion - who was described as angelic by a family friend - was killed at Hilden Brewery in Lisburn on Thursday.

It is understood the little boy was crushed under a metal tank.

His grandfather said: "Oliver was a beautiful child, full of life and enthusiasm for everything he did."

The family also announced the cancellation of a beer festival at the brewery that had been scheduled for the end of this month.

In a statement released on behalf of the Scullion-Hanna family, Oliver's grandfather Seamus Scullion thanked "all who are supporting us at this heartbreaking time".

"It is difficult to come to terms with life without him. We will miss him more than words can express," he said.

"Under the circumstances, we regretfully have to cancel the Hilden Beer and Music Festival, due to take place on August 28, 29, 30."

Oliver's father Owen, the manager at Northern Ireland's most celebrated craft brewery, was injured in the accident.

It is understood that he is being treated in hospital for a broken leg.

The family has appealed for privacy.

The Hilden Brewery operation was set up in 1981 by Owen's parents, Seamus and Ann Scullion.

A NI Ambulance Service medical team had raced to the scene of the accident on Thursday, but there was nothing they could do to save the little boy's life.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service brought heavy lifting gear to the site to remove the fallen holding tank after the accident.

Local SDLP councillor Pat Catney, a close friend of the family who had known the little boy his whole life, said he was distraught.

His voice breaking with emotion, a shocked Mr Catney told the Belfast Telegraph that the family was devastated.

"It's beyond grief itself," he said.

"This is an indescribably tragic accident - it is difficult to find the words to convey just how painful this news is.

"Oliver was a force of nature - this little blond four-year-old wonder who enchanted everyone who met him.

"He was part of the life here at the brewery, and I know that the staff are also devastated at his death.

"All I can do now is help his mum, dad and siblings in their time of need. They will be forever in my thoughts and prayers." Industry spokesman Colin Neill, the chief executive of Hospitality Ulster, offered his condolences and prayers to the ally bereaved family.

"This is such a tragic loss," he said.

"The Scullion-Hanna family behind the Hilden Brewery are well-known and highly respected across the tight-knit hospitality sector. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this sad time."

Hilden is the oldest independent brewer in the island of Ireland.

The Scullion family also owns the popular Molly's Yard restaurant near Queen's University.

"This is a deeply tragic event," said Alliance councillor Stephen Martin. "The Scullions are well-respected members of our community and words cannot express the sadness we all feel on the passing of young Oliver."

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