Belfast Telegraph

Tyrone boy Aodhan Ward (15) dies six months after dad Patrick killed in quad bike accident

By Donna Deeney

The only son of a Co Tyrone businessman who died in a tragic accident six months ago will be laid to rest beside his father tomorrow.

Aodhan Ward's (15) mother and sisters will lead mourners into Sacred Heart chapel in Plumbridge for Requiem Mass.

It is the same church where the family gathered last November for the funeral of the Aodhan's father, Patrick Ignatius 'Nishi' Ward (45), who was one of Co Tyrone's largest employers through his company Waste Systems.

Mr Ward died in a quad bike accident on the family farm.

Aodhan - who was a student at Drumragh Integrated School - helped carry his father's coffin into the church and led the funeral cortege in a red tractor in a special tribute to Mr Ward's love of the rural life he was born into.

Fr Roland Colhoun has been supporting the devastated family since Aodhan's sudden death on Monday.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Fr Colhoun said: "The family is naturally distraught - it is a double tragedy for them coming just six months after Nishi's sudden death.

"This is a family who deserve no suffering and yet it has been visited upon them twice in such a short space of time.

"I have been with them since Monday, and while I don't have good enough words, we have prayed together and they have cried because the words of the scripture opens the heart and lets the emotions out.

"Aodhan was such a good fellow, he got on well at his school in Omagh, at home and on the farm.

"He was so close to his father - in fact I don't recall seeing one without seeing the other and the loss of his father left a huge gap in his life.

"He idolised his father and I'm sure he would have followed his father into business.

"He was an intelligent young man, full of potential, and Aodhan's death has struck at the heart of everyone.

"It has been tough on his school friends and on the community of Plumbridge as a whole. But this is a time to pray and support the family and that is being done and will continue in the days and weeks ahead."

Sinn Fein MLA Declan McAleer offered his condolences to Aodhan's grieving mother Jennifer and his sisters Sinead, Eimear and Fionnuala.

He said: "The community of Plumbridge and beyond are completely stunned at the death of Aodhan, just a few short months after the death of his dad, Nishi.

"Aodhan was an intelligent and pleasant young man who always took time to stop and speak to you. He was very popular with a wide circle of friends and the last time I spoke to him was at the Balmoral Show a couple of weeks ago. He loved the tractors, machinery and rural way of life."

Requiem Mass for Aodhan will be celebrated at 10am tomorrow morning at the Sacred Heart chapel with burial in the adjoining cemetery immediately afterwards.

Belfast Telegraph

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