Belfast Telegraph

Francis McCarville's family anguish as he is killed while working on paradise isle

Tributes have been paid to a Co Armagh landscaper and father-of-three who died while laying football turf on a paradise island in the Indian Ocean
Tributes have been paid to a Co Armagh landscaper and father-of-three who died while laying football turf on a paradise island in the Indian Ocean
Brett Campbell

By Brett Campbell

Tributes have been paid to a Co Armagh landscaper and father-of-three who died while laying football turf on a paradise island in the Indian Ocean.

Francis McCarville, from the village of Hamiltonsbawn, lost his life in a tragic accident last Wednesday while working on Mauritius.

It is understood the Clive Richardson Ltd employee's son was among the team of staff creating a new football pitch and was present when his father was run over.

His daughter Laura told friends on social media that to say she was "heartbroken" was an "understatement", as she shared news of her father's sudden death.

"Words cannot express how sad I feel for your loss," one friend replied.

"Your daddy was a star, and will continue to shine on you all.

"You have our love and deepest sympathy."

Another friend took to social media to describe the circumstances as truly devastating.

"Such a shock to everyone," they wrote.

"He will be sorely missed.

"Sending all our love to your family during these difficult times."

Another pal hailed Mr McCarville as "one in a million" as they offered condolences to his grieving widow Ruth. "I have some great memories of him," they wrote. "So sorry for you all - send my love to your mammy."

Mr McCarville's son William, who works for the same Northern Ireland-based company, which specialises in designing sports grounds around the world, also told friends on social media that he is beyond "heartbroken".

A spokesperson for the firm, which has offices in Portadown, Dublin and London, said everyone at the company has been "deeply saddened" following the tragic incident.

"Francis was a dedicated employee who had been with the company for eight years," they added.

"We offer our sincere condolences to Francis' family and colleagues and will endeavour to provide all the support we can."

Councillor Jim Speers said Mr McCarville's entire family - including his other daughter Louise, mum Patricia and four grandchildren - are all "completely devastated" by the loss.

"It's just an unthinkable tragedy," he said.

"They are literally numb with grief. You think and hope it will never happen to you or someone you know, but this is an unwelcome reminder that it does."

Mr Speers said many friends have been gathering at the family home to pay their respects.

"He was a decent man who has many friends - they all speak very highly of him," he said.

"The thoughts of everyone in this entire community are with his family as they now prepare to bury a loved one."

A funeral service will be held in Aghavilly Parish Church at 2pm tomorrow before Mr McCarville is laid to rest in the adjoining churchyard.

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