The family of a little boy who was laid to rest on Sunday after a farming accident in Co Fermanagh is said to be absolutely distraught after the tragic accident.
Thomas Magee was aged just four when he lost his life in an accident involving farm machinery on Thursday night in Maguiresbridge.
He was laid to rest after a service at Maguiresbridge Methodist Church.
UUP councillor Victor Warrington attended the funeral. He described little Thomas, the only son in a family of five, as someone who idolised his father and wanted to grow up to become a farmer just like him.
“People are in absolute shock in this area,” Mr Warrington said.
“I was at the funeral yesterday (Sunday) and I was round at the house. I don’t think there’s words to describe it to be honest with you. It’s everybody’s worst nightmare.
“The funeral, it was colossal. The Methodist Church in Maguiresbridge is quite small and, certainly, I was over there long before the funeral was due and I got into the gallery. I would say there was hundreds outside.
“It wasn’t a big church and it wouldn’t hold a lot of people but there was a good few hundred people at the funeral.”
Mr Warrington continued: “I was at the wake on Friday night. I’ve been to lots of wakes in my lifetime and I would say it was probably one of the most difficult that I’ve ever been at – to see the wee white coffin with the parents distraught, it really was heart wrenching.
“It’s a small, rural area where everybody knows everybody.
“That in itself means any sort of a tragedy is felt very strongly by everyone but even more so because of the age of the wee guy. For a wee four-year-old to die in such circumstances is absolutely heartbreaking.”
The local councillor paid tribute to the way the community has supported the family in recent days: “Everybody rallied round and you would find that in these sort of situations here.
“At the end of the day, when it is an older person it is maybe easier to accept as simply a part of life but when it is a four-year-old who dies in such tragic circumstances, it’s absolutely heartbreaking.
“They have another two children, an older girl and a younger girl – one of eight and one of two years-of-age. Maybe they will be what will help them through this, with having the other children. That wee fellow idolised the father and the father idolised him.”
He added: “The wee fellow had actually said, when they were talking about what they want to be when they grow up, that there was no doubt about it – that wee fellow was going to be a farmer. He was obsessed with tractors and with cattle and just the farm, full stop. It is just desperate.”