AN ESKRA man who died tragically as the result of a workplace accident last week has been described as a ‘giant of the parish.’
The Health and Safety Executive said it was aware of the incident and was investigating.
Brian Kelly (72), a father of six from Cormore Road, had been working on a house in the locality when the incident occurred on Thursday.
He was laid to rest this morning (Monday) following funeral Mass at St Patrick’s Church, Eskra
Close friends have praised Mr Kelly’s commitment to so many areas of parish life and also, the gesture of donating his organs to help others in need following his untimely death.
Tributes to Mr Kelly were led by lifelong friend and local man, John McCarroll, who said he was an adored husband and father who had left an immense legacy to the Eskra area.
“Brian’s death is just so terrible for everyone here because he was a giant of the parish. But above all that he was a loving husband and father and a great family man,” Mr McCarroll said.
“He was an absolute giant of a man and of this parish and this is highlighted by the fact that his organs have now been donated to help others.
“There is barely a house or a farmyard in the Eskra area that wasn’t repaired by him.
*He was a really talented tradesman and contractor who always did a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay.
“But he was also really involved in the wider life of the community.
“He was probably the busiest man around, always on hand to help and one of my first memories of him is erecting the marquee at the local carnivals in the ‘60s.
“He worked on the restoration of the chapel a few years ago, served the parish as a Eucharistic Minister and was involved in the GAA. It was always about the practical help that he offered in so many areas of local life.
“Mr Kelly was a talented Gaelic footballer, first as a defender on the Eskra team which won the West Tyrone Junior League in 1970 and then as an attacker in the team which won the Tyrone Junior League in 1986.
“I was manager of that team and put him centre-half-forward and he took a defender’s mindset to that role.”
Mr Kelly’s five daughters are multi-medalled members of the St Macartan’s Ladies football team.
His son, Damien, is a player and committee member with Eskra Emmetts GAA and his son-in-law is the Fermanagh manager and Tyrone All-Ireland winner, Ryan McMenamin.
Poignantly, Mr Kelly’s mother will next month celebrate her 103rd birthday on the same day as he was due to turn 74.
Mr Kelly is survived by his wife, Maria, son, Damian, daughters Deirdre (McCarroll), Clare (Woods), Elaine (Connell), Maura (McMenamin) and Grainne (O’Hagan). His was predeceased by his brother, Vincent, and is also survived by his mother, Cassie, and 11 brothers and sisters.