News

Shock and sorrow over tragic death of ‘hard-working devoted family man’

Thursday, 15 June 2017

A LARGE number of mourners, who gathered for the funeral of Omagh man, Damian O'Kane, has heard how he was a "devoted family man".

Mr O'Kane, 49, from Shandon Park, tragically fell to his death on the Great Northern Road in Omagh on Thursday past. The incident happened shortly before 8.30pm when Mr O'Kane fell from the Dublin Road fly-over.

The Great Northern Road, the junction of Dublin Road/Lissan House and the roundabout, were closed as police investigators launched an examination of the scene. Police are not treating the death as suspicious.

Speaking at the service in the Sacred Heart Church, Omagh, on Monday, Monsignor Joseph Donnelly said Mr O'Kane was a "popular man" who enjoyed sport.

"For a family to have to part with a dear friend, a brother, a father, it is all so very unreal," he said. "Damian was just 49 years of age, years of hard work behind him and much to look forward to in the future."

Monsignor Donnelly explained that Mr O'Kane spent his youth in Shandon Park. He went to St Conor's Primary School and later to the then St Patrick's Secondary School.

"Initially, he worked on the family farm at Legfreshy, Drumquin, then he went off to England for work," Monsignor Donnelly said. "He settled in Dagenham where he spent many years in construction work. He worked first for McNicholas and then Murphy's, being with the latter for 14 or 15 years."

Monsignor Donnelly continued: "Damian was a very hard-working man. He was a devoted family man and provided for Kate and his two children, Cianan and Megan, to whom he was very attached. He was popular, sociable, good-natured and also a private person. He was an avid supporter of Manchester United and never lost his interest in the fortunes of Tyrone. He enjoyed a flutter on the horses. In a break from his work he looked forward to holidays in Spain.

"I offer my deepest sympathy and that of the priests of the parish to his dear friend, Kate, to the children, Cianan and Megan, to his sisters, Carmel, Geraldine, Siobhan, Una and Caroline, to his brothers, Kevin, Harry and Ciaran, to the wider family circle and friends and to all who will miss his presence."

A police statement read: "Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a man, aged in his 40s, who died following an incident on the Great Northern Road in Omagh shortly before 8.25pm on Thursday, June 8."

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