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Father-of-two David Gardner dies following fall on Co Antrim family farm

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David Gardner with his wife Louise and daughters Naomi and Emily

David Gardner with his wife Louise and daughters Naomi and Emily

David Gardner with his wife Louise and daughters Naomi and Emily

A Co Antrim man has died after suffering a head injury following a fall on his family farm.

David Gardner (44) from the Holestone Road in Doagh passed away on Friday after the accident.

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland confirmed that it is making preliminary enquiries into the circumstances around the father-of-two's death.

Mr Gardner is survived by his wife Louise, daughters Naomi (9) and Emily (7), and the wider family circle.

His funeral will take place on Wednesday at 11am in Kilbride Presbyterian Church, Doagh, followed by interment at Six Mile Cemetery in Antrim.

The former member of Holestone Young Farmers Club was affectionately known by his wide circle of friends as "the legendary David Gardner". A statement released by his family said he was a "loving husband, father, son and brother".

"David was devoted to his two daughters Naomi and Emily," the family stated. "He was a former pupil of Ballyclare High School and student of Greenmount College.

"David was a former employee of United Dairies and a well known member of the Co Antrim farming community.

"Over the past few days it has become evident how much he meant to so many people and the family have been bowled over by the kind words of support from the wider community around Holestone."

Holestone Young Farmers Club said they were saddened to hear of Mr Gardner's passing and added that their thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Meanwhile, his old rugby club, Ballyclare RFC, paid tribute to its former player by observing a minute silence prior to their home win against Ards RFC on Saturday. A spokesperson for Ballyclare RFC said: "The president, committee and members of Ballyclare RFC were shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of former team-mate and friend of many at the club, David Gardner. RIP Davy."

Local DUP councillor Jeannie Archibald said his former rugby club and farming club are two communities that have been affected by Mr Gardner's death.

"David had two daughters as well so my thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and his two daughters," she continued.

"It's awful, especially with somebody carrying out their job. You never expect anyone not to come home from their job."

UUP councillor Vera McWilliam added that her thoughts and prayers are with the Gardner family at this time.

It was requested that donations in lieu of flowers be given to Air Ambulance Northern Ireland via Fleming and Cuthbert Funeral Directors, Ballyclare.

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