Belfast Telegraph

Derry farmer John Speer died of natural causes, not in accident

By Allan Preston

An 80-year-old man has died after collapsing on a farm in Co Londonderry.

John Matthew Speer had been out working in a field on New Year's Day when it's understood he lost consciousness. He was discovered by his son-in-law.

The Ambulance Service was called to the property on Maple Road in Coshquin, a border area close to Derry, on Monday at around 6.15pm.

After he was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital, police confirmed his death yesterday.

It had been reported Mr Speer had an accident involving a slurry tank, but it is now believed his death was due to natural causes.

The PSNI and Health and Safety Executive are investigating, and a post-mortem examination is due to take place.

A family notice described him as the much-loved husband of Anne and the devoted father of Hilary, Jennifer and Nicola and the late Ian.

Mr Speer was the father-in-law of Wesley, Stuart and John, as well as the "cherished granda" of Richard, Hannah, Laura, Thomas and John, and great grandfather of Olivia and Amber.

The family requested the house is strictly private, with no wake, in accordance with Mr Speer's wishes. A service of thanksgiving is to be held at 2pm tomorrow in Burt Presbyterian Church.

Foyle Sinn Fein councillor Michael Cooper spoke to neighbours, who said Mr Speer came from a well-established family in the area. "It's my understanding he had a medical condition and was working out in the fields and collapsed," he said.

At this stage it's not believed Mr Speer's work contributed to his death.

Belfast Telegraph

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