Belfast Telegraph

Widow of road victim Keith McWilliams tells of last kiss goodbye

By Allan Preston

The wife of a Warrenpoint man who died in an accident while out walking has paid tribute to "an absolute giant of a gentleman."

Keith McWilliams (66) had been out on his daily morning walk enjoying the sunshine on Warrenpoint's popular coastal path along Carlingford Lough near his home on Wednesday morning.

He was fatally injured at around 10.30am after a number of logs came loose from a trailer attached to a lorry.

He is survived by his wife Ellen, siblings Nigel and Denise and his nephews and nieces.

"He was just a giant of a gentleman and he loved gardening, walking, cooking and travelling," said his wife Mrs McWilliams.

"He was born in Wales and moved to Newry as a child.

"His mother was a Welsh woman and she died when Keith was only 20.

"So when Ireland played Wales in the rugby, the Welsh anthem always tore at his heart."

She said that her husband was "the most honest person I'd met in my entire life."

"He dropped me off that morning and he kissed me goodbye. I was sitting later waiting for him to pick me up," she added.

"He'd go for a walk in Warrenpoint and he'd tell me all the people he met. I was ringing him because I was waiting on him and there was no answer."

She added that Mr McWilliams had played football and hockey for many years, lining out for Newry Olympic hockey club when he was younger.

"He loved travelling and we'd been to many countries together. It's my 60th birthday coming up this year and we had wanted to go away," she said.

"If only for my family I don't know where I would be. He was so respectful, nobody could ever say a bad word about him."

The family also passed on their thanks to the emergency services for their quick responses to the incident.

Mr McWilliams' funeral is to be held this Sunday, May 7, at 2pm from Sandy Street Presbyterian church with burial in Warrenpoint Municipal Cemetery.

The outgoing MP for South Down, Margaret Ritchie, passed on her condolences to the family over the "heartbreaking tragedy".

"I am greatly saddened to hear of the news of a local man who tragically lost his life," she said. "This tragedy once again highlights the dangers that we face on our roads. I would urge everyone to take due care whilst on the road."

Sinn Fein's Sinead Ennis said she was saddened to hear of the death.

"The people of Warrenpoint are deeply shocked at such a devastating tragedy but no doubt they will rally around the McWilliams family at this time," she said. "I want to extend my sincere condolences to his wife, family and friends at this deeply sad time."

Police are appealing for anybody who witnessed the incident to contact them on the non-emergency 101 number.

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