Hilltown father-of-two dies after falling into ditch
A FATHER-of-two has died after falling into a ditch in a tragic accident in Co Down.
Dennis Rodgers, who was in his early forties, died on Thursday following the accident in Rathfriland, near Newry.
It is believed the father of a young son and daughter suffered the fall into a ditch at the back of a property in the town.
Mr Rodgers had lived in Hilltown but was originally from Downpatrick.
He is survived by his wife Sharon, children Rebecca and Patrick, father-in-law Patrick Morgan and sister-in-law Allison Morgan.
His funeral is due to be held at St John the Baptist Church, Ballygorian, Hilltown on Monday, with burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.
SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie said the community had been left shocked and saddened by his death.
"I want to offer my deepest sympathies to Sharon, to her children and the wider Rodgers and Morgan family," she said.
"I'm acquainted with both families. I also know Sharon's father Paddy Morgan very well, who has been a stalwart for the SDLP for many years.
"I know people in Downpatrick who know the Rodgers family will want to support them and help them in whatever way is possible.
"They want to be there to support the family and to stand in solidarity with them."
Tributes and messages of condolence were posted online yesterday as people in the area learned of the tragedy.
Downpatrick Parish wrote on its Facebook page: "We offer our prayers and deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Dennis Rodgers. May he rest in peace."
One internet user described Mr Rodgers as a "lovely guy", while another wrote: "RIP Dennis, thoughts and prayers are with all the family at this sad time."