Tribute to ‘dedicated and passionate’ school principal killed by falling tree

Education Minister Michelle McIlveen has praised the primary school principal who died when a tree fell on his car in Antrim yesterday as “dedicated and passionate” education provider.

By Mark Rainey
Saturday, 27th November 2021, 11:33 am
Updated Saturday, 27th November 2021, 11:47 am
School principal Francis Lagan. Dept of Education image
School principal Francis Lagan. Dept of Education image

Confirming the news late on Friday afternoon, the PSNI said the fatal incident took place on the town’s Dublin Road.

The Department of Education has named the man involved as Francis Lagan – a primary school principal from Co Londonderry.

In a message on the Department’s Twitter account, Michelle McIlveen said: “I want to express my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Francis Lagan following his tragic death.

A man has been killed during Storm Arwen in Northern Ireland on Friday afternoon after a tree struck the vehicle he was travelling in on the Dublin Road near Antrim town.Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

“I was privileged to visit his wonderful school @StMarysGlenview. He was a dedicated & passionate Principal and will be greatly missed.”

South Antrim Sinn Fein MLA, Declan Kearney said: “I was shocked and very saddened to learn about the death of a motorist after a tree fell on his car while travelling along the Dublin Road in Antrim town on Friday evening.

“The victim of this tragedy, Francis Lagan, was a highly respected south Derry school principal, who made an immense contribution to the community which he served.

“Francis was a renowned Maghera educationalist and civic leader.”

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Mr Kearney added: “My thoughts and sympathies are with his family, school colleagues and students, and the wider community of Maghera, where he was held in very great regard.”

On Friday evening, a PSNI spokesperson said: “Police can confirm that a man has died after the car he was driving was struck by a falling tree on the Dublin Road in Antrim on Friday, November 26.

“The Dublin Road remains closed in both directions at this time and diversions are in place. There are no further details at present.”

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