Belfast Telegraph

Man dies in farm fall: Investigation after 70-year-old is killed as he built a wall

Investigation after 70-year-old is killed as he built a wall

BY GARRETT HARGAN

The 70-year-old man who died after falling while building a wall at his rural property was a dedicated farmer and family man, according to those who knew him.

Henry Allen died following the incident at his property in Moneymore in Co Londonderry on Thursday afternoon.

Councillor Robert Kelly, who knows the dead man's family well, said it was still not clear exactly what happened.

The alarm was raised and the emergency services called at around 4pm, but nothing could be done to save Mr Allen.

Mr Kelly said: "I understand he was working on a wall at a silo when he fell and died. I've visited the family myself and they are devastated. They were tragic consequences for them as a family and it is hard to comprehend what they are going through at this time."

Mr Kelly said the dead man was dedicated to his farm and his family.

"He has lived at the family farm his entire life with his wife Yvonne and son David.

"He also has two daughters Cynthia and Louise."

Mr Kelly said: "There have been advertisements on the television warning about farm accidents, but farmers have a job to do and unfortunately things like this happen. He was a well-respected man within the community," he added.

Ulster Farmers' Union president Harry Sinclair spoke of his "deep shock" and "great sadness" following news of the death.

He said: "I have been speaking with Henry's family who are obviously devastated by his death.

"Henry was a long-standing and valued member of the union and he contributed immensely to our work locally and at central level.

"Unfortunately, this very sad accident is another reminder that you can never be too safe on a farm.

"The Allen family has asked me to pass on their request that their complete privacy be respected during this very difficult time."

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland confirmed yesterday that it was investigating what had happened.

"HSENI is currently investigating the tragic death of a 70-year-old farmer on a Co Londonderry farm," a spokesman said.

"Our deepest sympathies are with the family at this most difficult time."

The dangers of farm work have received a lot of media attention in the recent past.

They were most starkly brought to public notice after the death of talented Ulster Rugby player Nevin Spence along with his brother and father due to slurry fumes at their farm in Hillsborough, Co Down, last year.

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