A Co Londonderry man who died in what is believed to have been a tragic accident yesterday morning has been described as “a very lovable chap who was loved by everybody.”
The man, named locally as 44-year-old father-of-two Ian Patterson, is thought to have been electrocuted while installing a new light in a shed at his Rockmount Gardens home in Articlave.
Mr Patterson, who owned Patterson TV Aerial & Satellite Services, was a well known businessman in the local area.
He was also a popular member of the Articlave-based Silver Arrows darts team and played in the Route Taxis Ballymoney Dart League.
League secretary Stephen Pinkerton said he knew Mr Patterson for around 12 years and played against him on many occasions.
“Ian was a very, very lovable chap and he was loved by everybody. He got on with everybody, he never fought, never argued. He went to his darts and enjoyed himself. He had a beer with everybody and he’d chat away to everybody,” he told the News Letter.
“He was also a great family man and would have done anything for his children.”
The 45-year-old Bushmills man confirmed that all of last night’s scheduled league games were called off as a mark of respect.
“He will be sadly missed by everybody. He had his TV aerial business and he also did trophies, supplying and engraving them, for all sports around the area, so he was very well known.
“All I can say is that he will be greatly missed by the Ballymoney Dart League. Everybody in the league knew him. He’d only been in the league this year, but everybody knew him as he’s a local player and had been going to local competitions for years. He had played in the Coleraine and District League for years before, so a lot of people would have known him from that.”
East Londonderry MLA Claire Sugden, who lives in nearby Castlerock, met Mr Patterson shortly before Christmas when she employed his services to fix her TV aerial.
“He was great. I rang him and he came up straight away and fixed it. He was so professional and so nice. He was a lovely man and I really am quite upset by what has happened,” she said.
Describing his death as “really sad”, she said he will be missed by the whole community.
“Articlave and Castlerock is a very small community and Ian was really well known in the area. He was known as the go-to-man if you needed your TV aerial fixed, but he also supplied trophies for a lot of local clubs so he’d have been well known in those circles too. He was a well known face in the local community and he will be sadly missed.”
DUP MLA Maurice Bradley added: “This is a tragedy. I knew Ian well and I am deeply shocked.
“Ian was a popular businessman who in recent years had supplied quality trophies to the Coleraine and District League of which I am a member.
“I would extend my deepest sympathy to Ian’s immediate family and extended family circle and also the tight-knit community of Articlave where he resided.”
His party colleague, Alderman William King, who lives near Articlave and knew Mr Patterson, described his death as “a freak accident”.
“It is very sad and I would just like to extend my sympathies to his family at this time,” he said.
Ambulance crews and the air ambulance were tasked to the incident shortly after 11am.
A Northern Ireland Ambulance Service spokesperson said it was reported that a patient had collapsed following electrocution.
The PSNI said it attended a report of a sudden death of a man in the Articlave area.
A post mortem examination is due to take place, but his death is not being treated as suspicious.
Engineers from NIE were tasked to the scene, and the Health and Safety Executive has been made aware of the incident.