Donegal farming tragedy: Second funeral takes place

Paul Hegarty.
Paul Hegarty.

The funeral service for the second of two farmers killed in east Donegal last weekend has taken place.

Kevin Woods, 51, was on his land harvesting potatoes on Friday evening when the accident claimed the life of him and Seamus Hegarty, 52.

The service at St Patrick’s church in Murlog saw the church – which hosted Mr Hegarty’s funeral on Monday – once again drew a large attendance.

Father Edward Kilpatrick said that once again the service had drawn attendees from across the denominational spectrum, and said “we must now accept [this tragedy] in all its sadness and begin, slowly, to move on”.

Mr Hegarty was the brother of former Derry City player and assistant manager Paul Hegarty.

In the wake of the fatal accident caused when a tyre blew out senior footballing figures in Derry expressed their shock and sympathy to the highly regarded footballing figure.

Former Derry City captain and manager Tony O’Doherty reacted with shock to the news last weekend. Speaking to the Journal he said: “My immediate thoughts are with Seamus’ family at this tragic time. My thoughts are also of course with Paul whom we all of course know and respect.

“I am utterly shocked by this. We have all heard of recent tragedies within the farming community in relation to accidents involving slurry pits but this is something that you do not expect to hear these days. Again, and on behalf of Derry City I wish to extend the club’s deepest sympathies to the entire Hegarty family.”

The accident took place at Cross Roads, Killygordan, between Stranorlar and Castlefin. The men were neighbours in the Raphoe area and had been working at harvseting potatoes at the time.

Derry City FC director Sean Barrett told the Journal: “This is devasating news for Paul and the entire Hegarty family. My thoughts are with them all at this time.

“Paul Hegarty has been a long serving and hard working servant to Derry City Football Club and indeed to football in general. On behalf of both myself and the club I extend our heartfelt sympathy to the Hegarty family at this tragic time.”

Liam Doherty, a Sinn Fein councillor for the area, said: “It is believed the steel ring has come off the wheel, it blew out on them.

“The local community is in deep shock over this tragedy, our deepest sympathy goes out to the two families.”

Independent councillor Frank McBrearty Jnr, who knew both men well, said: “My thoughts and prayers go out to both the families - they’re very well known in the local community and very well known in the farming community.

“It’s a devastating blow to the community, but even more devastating to both families and I think the families at this time need to be given some space to be able to deal with the grief they’re going through.

“This community over the last number of months has suffered a number of tragedies and this is another very bad tragedy leading up to Christmas.”