The funeral will take place on Monday of a well-respected businessman and father-of-five from Co Tyrone who died in a quad bike accident.
Ignatius Ward – known as Nishi – died on Thursday evening following the tragic incident in his home village of Plumbridge. He was 45.
Rev Brian Donnelly – Parish Priest at Sacred Heart Church in Plumbridge where Mr Ward’s funeral will take place on Monday at 11am – described him as “a pillar of the community”.
He said: “I would have thought there will be a big gathering at his funeral.
“He was widely known and had a lot of interests. He was very much involved in community development and rural development.
“He had an expanding business that brought employment to the area. He was one of those leaders in the local community.”
Mr Ward, who was married with five children, was the founder and managing director of Waste Systems based in Plumbridge.
Rev Donnelly said: “His death has come as a terrible shock. He was a pillar of the community and one of those men who had a real presence about him.
“He’ll leave a terrible void – not just to his family and children – but to the business community.”
Such was Mr Ward’s standing in the business community the chief executive of Invest NI made a statement following his passing. Alastair Hamilton said: “Nishi was a much respected businessman who was instrumental in the global growth of Waste Systems Ltd in Plumbridge and an integral part of Northern Ireland’s manufacturing industry.”
In December last year, it was announced that Mr Ward’s business which makes advanced waste management systems was to grow its overseas market thanks to a £1m boost from a Bank of Ireland growth scheme.