Fermanagh GAA player’s family hit by third tragedy as father dies after being hit by lorry

A 74-year-old father of 11 who died after a road traffic accident in Lisnaskea was a true gentleman who will be genuinely missed by his community, his family priest has said.

Pedestrian John Woods died after being struck by a lorry just off the main Street of Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh on Friday.

His death is the third tragedy to hit the highly respected family.

In 2010 John’s son Ciaran, 36, a former Fermanagh GAA player, was fatally stabbed at a house party in Tempo.

John Woods, 74, died on Saturday after being hit by a lorry on the Main Street of Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh. Photo: Google maps.

Gary Philip Moane, 36, from Brookeborough, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, and was given five years. A judge said that when sober Moane represented a minimum risk, but with drink taken was a significant risk of danger to the public.

Ciaran’s brother, Oliver, was also killed in a tragic road accident when only 20 years of age.

Lisnaskea parish priest Canon Jimmy McPhillips said their father, John, lived in Lisnaskea with his wife Breege but was originally from Newtownbutler.

He confirmed that the couple had lost two sons in tragic circumstances.

A range of GAA clubs posted condolences to Breege and her family after the death, with one, Lisnaskea Emmetts, drawing over 260 tributes.

“Words fail us for such a gentleman who loved the football banter,” the club said. “Condolences to Breege, Yvonne, Marty, Elaine, Brian, Donna, Shauna, Claire, John, Lorna & the extended family at this sad time.”

Almost 30 of the tributes described Mr Woods as “a gentleman”.

“Yes it is amazing, I saw that myself and that is exactly how he was seen within the community,” Canon McPhillips told the News Letter.

With 11 children, the couple were involved in their community in so many ways, he said.

“John supported them in everything they did, whether it was sport or whatever – he was just always there within the community.”

He had worked for “a lifetime” in a cheese factory in the town but after retiring he took up this “wee job” in a local chip shop.

“He chipped the spuds there for 18 years and was still working there at 74 years of age.

“He was a great character who was just much loved here within the community. He was just a very friendly character who just treated everybody the same.

“He had his wee routines every day of going up the town and meeting the same people. He was a very friendly, good man and will be really missed in the community.”

A funeral date will be set after the post-mortem.

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