Strangford farm victim ‘an absolute gentleman’

editorial image

The Co Down farmer who died in an accident on his farm was “a stalwart and an upstanding member of the community”.

Tragic Richard Sharvin, who lived on a farm between Strangford and Downpatrick and was in his 70s, died on Friday.

It has been reported the accident had involved a tractor.

South Down MP Margaret Ritchie, who has been to the family home, described Mr Sharvin as “a very well-known and very highly respected member of the farming community”.

She said: “It is particularly sad that it happened at the beginning of spring – a time that is associated with growth and vitality within farming circles.”

“He was an absolute gentleman,” she added. “I always remember him as cheery, joyful and hospitable person when you called at his house.

“He was very engaging and knowledgeable. And he was known to be a very good farmer.

“I have been up at the house and conveyed my condolences to his widow and daughters Cathy and Nuala, but I also want to convey them on behalf of the wider community because they are also in shock.

“His family are in terrible trauma. But I know the community will stand with them.”

Independent councillor for Downpatrick, Cadogan Enright, said he had visited the Sharvin home on Sunday morning “where there were people from all around the community”.

“He was a well-known farmer who was well liked,” he said. “This has happened at a very busy time in the farming calendar and it highlights the dangers in farming once again. His death has touched the entire community and they have rallied around after this dreadful tragedy.”

Alliance MLA for Strangford, Kieran McCarthy, said: “This is a dreadful shock for the family and his neighbours and I want to extend our sympathy from this side of Strangford Lough to them at this dreadful time.

“People go out to do a bit of work and regardless of how careful one can be, these things unfortunately happen.”

A PSNI spokeswoman said police have attended the scene along with officials from the Health and Safety Executive (HSENI) who will lead the investigation.

A spokesman from the HSENI said they “are aware of the incident and are investigating”.

A funeral service for Mr Sharvin will be held at 2pm in St Patrick’s Church in Saul at 2pm on Tuesday.