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Tributes paid to highly-skilled mechanic at Omagh garage who died in tragic accident

Thursday, 16 November 2017

TRIBUTES have been paid to a talented young mechanic at Pat Kirk in Omagh who lost his life in a tragic accident in Sion Mills on Monday night.

It is understood father-of-one Richard Harron, 26, was working on a vehicle when the accident happened at his grandmother's house in the High Road area of the village.

Police confirmed they attended the sudden death of a man there at around 10.30pm on Monday night. A spokesperson for PSNI said a post mortem was due to be carried out to determine the cause of death.

Mr Harron - whose partner, Lindsey, had a baby girl, Emma, last year - was a most highly thought of employee of Pat Kirk in Omagh.

Yesterday (Tuesday) Peter McDermott, managing director, described him as a "great lad". Mr Harron had been with the car dealership since 2010.

"This is a horrific accident and the mood is very sombre at Pat Kirk today," said Mr McDermott. "Some of his colleagues worked closely with him and some of his very direct colleagues weren't in the right frame of mind to work today, particularly his young apprentice who is in absolute bits.

"The company and his colleagues will miss Richard Harron very much. I speak on behalf of Pat Kirk Ltd and his work colleagues, and we would like to offer our condolences to his family. It is a bitter loss - his family have lost a son, his daughter has lost a father and we have lost someone with a great work ethic."

 

Continuing, Mr McDermott said: "I first received a phone call about Richard a number of years ago by a used car dealer who I know very well who told me that Richard had great skills. Richard ended up being our Nissan 'master technician' - he was an expert in his field.

"Richard was quite tall - around six foot - and he was not your 'normal' motor technician - he was very quiet and unassuming. He was more than capable of performing his work and he was just a decent bloke, a great lad. Richard was the backbone of our service department, he was quite gifted that he was able to bring on another young apprentice with him. He did factory training and travelled to Nissan regularly to train. Pat Kirk have lost an exemplary staff member who was part of our future going forward."

Meanwhile, Ronnie Patton, a life-long family friend, told Q Radio: "Richard was working at a car at his granny's. It was getting near bed time and I think his granny wanted to go to bed. She called down to his dad (her son) and they found him under the car. They called the paramedics who worked on him, but unfortunately he died.

"I have known him for most of his life - I would have known him through church. Earlier this year he had a baby daughter baptised at the church. It's an awful time. It's not the natural run of things - his mum and dad are in the 50s, and they're burying their son. People would ask 'why?' and sometimes it is quite difficult to give answers.

"Richard was a long-standing member of Cowan Memorial Flute Band, he was a great fluter and loved playing in the band with his brother. It is such a tragedy."

No funeral arrangements had been announced at the time of going to print yesterday afternoon.

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