THE widow of a Dromore man who died in a workplace accident two years ago described her family’s loss as “unbearably cruel and hard to accept.”
Barry McQuaid (34), from Longhill Road, died after he was crushed by a digger on a site in Ederney on February 23, 2018.
Members of his family attended the inquest which took place this week at Laganside Coroner’s Court in Belfast.
On the first day of evidence, Edele McQuaid said her life together with Barry had been “perfectly happy” and that they had been making future plans to celebrate key milestones of their marriage with their three young children.
“Barry was my husband and my best friend. We were a team, we did everything together and told each other everything,” she said.
Mrs McQuaid continued, “He was the best daddy for the children who idolised him.
“He played hide and seek with them and tag.
“They waited at the window for him to come home every evening and then fought with each other to see which of them would carry his lunchbox into the house.
“Life to us was perfectly happy, with Barry loving the simple things. His death is unbearably cruel and very hard to accept.
“Our lives have changed beyond measure as we know that all the plans and life goals are gone. There are no words to describe how much we miss him every day.
“Barry was strong and fearless, but also gentle and caring.
“I loved him more than he will ever know.”
Mrs McQuaid also told the inquest how her husband had loved his work, how no job was beneath him and that he was a perfectionist who never complained and “never really took time off.”
She went on to recall how he and his father, Noel, were like brothers.
“Barry was a model son to his father and there was always the greatest of respect between them.
“Barry was hardworking and loyal to his father and they were often mistaken for being brothers. I know Barry’s father was very, very proud of him.”
The inquest was also told how a special charity event celebrating Barry McQuaid’s life and achievements had raised £95,000 for the Air Ambulance Northern Ireland and a local primary school.