Northern Ireland news

Son of Tyrone businessman killed in quad bike accident dies suddenly

Aodhán Ward carrying the coffin of his father Nishi Ward, pictured right, at his funeral in November
Brendan Hughes

A TEENAGER who has died suddenly months after his father's death in a quad bike accident felt "desolate" following the tragedy, a priest has said.

Aodhán Ward, who recently turned 15, died on Monday at his home near Plumbridge in rural Co Tyrone.

His father, respected businessman Patrick Ignatius (Nishi) Ward, was killed in a quad bike accident at the family farm in early November.

The 45-year-old was the founder of engineering firm Waste Systems – one of area's biggest employers and considered a key player in the north's manufacturing sector.

Mr Ward was found by Aodhán following the tragic quad bike accident.

At his funeral last year, the teenager led the cortege in a red tractor driven in front of the hearse.

Aodhán Ward carrying his father Nishi Ward's coffin at his funeral in November

Fr Roland Colhoun, who knows the family and has visited them since the latest tragedy, fondly paid tribute to Aodhán as an intelligent and industrious young man with great potential.

He said Aodhán was deeply affected by the death of his father last year, describing them as "good companions" as well as being father and son.

"He spent a lot of time in his father's company. Any time I met him his father was with him," he said.

"They were very good companions as well as being father and son. They went a lot of places together and did a lot of activities together.

"He was desolate after the loss of his father. He didn't cope well with that."

He added: "It was a terrible blow to him, his father's tragic death. They spent a lot of time in one another's company.

"Death is hard on everyone, but he felt it particularly acutely."

Pall-bearers carrying the coffin of Patrick Ignatius (Nishi) Ward from the Sacred Heart Church, Plumbridge, to the adjoining burial plot in November

Fr Colhoun said Aodhán, a pupil at Drumragh Integrated College in Omagh, had similar interests to his father and "had a lot of potential."

"He was interested in machinery and equipment and working at land and farming. He was very industrious," he said.

"He had just turned 15, but he was a responsible fella. His life was only beginning.

"We're not going to see the benefits of the gifts he had.

"His mother now is widowed and bereft of a son. He had three sisters. It's a terrible shame."

He added: "I found him intelligent and pleasant and amiable, and a good sense of humour. I thought he was a great fella and I'm terribly saddened."

Aodhán is survived by his mother Jennifer, and sisters Sinéad, Eimear and Fionnuala.

His Requiem Mass will take place at 10am on Friday at Sacred Heart Church, Plumbridge, with burial afterwards in the adjoining churchyard.

Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer expressed his condolences with the Aodhán's family and friends.

"The community of Plumbridge and beyond are completely stunned at the death of Aodhán, just a few short months after the death of his dad, Nishi.

"Aodhán was an intelligent and pleasant young man who always took time to stop and speak to you.

"He was very popular with a wide circle of friends and the last time I spoke to him was at the Balmoral show a couple of weeks ago. He loved the tractors, machinery and rural way of life.

"I want to take this opportunity to pass on my deepest sympathy to his mother, sisters and wider family circle at this terrible time."

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