Northern Ireland news

Funeral held for father-of-four (36) who died after he was electrocuted at work in Co Down

Rodney Shirley died on September 30

THE funeral has taken place of a father-of-four who was electrocuted at work.

Family and friends of Rodney Shirley (36) gathered at his home in north Belfast yesterday following his death on September 30.

Mr Shirley had been working for a tree care provider in a cherry picker in Hillsborough when the accident happened.

His wife Lynne has spoke of her heartbreak following her husband's death and how he leaves behind four children - the youngest 11 weeks old.

Mrs Shirley told the Belfast Telegraph that she had received a call from her husband's boss, who said "he'd been in an accident and was unconscious" and she rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

"The doctor said he was sorry but my husband had passed away," she said.

"I thought I would be calm when I went in to see his body but when I saw him lying with his work clothes on, I just broke down - I started calling and shouting - trying to get him to wake up."

Mrs Shirley said her husband was "a brilliant daddy".

"He was so close to his children and so involved with everything they did," she said.

"I feel so sorry for my wee children. Ryan, my five-year-old, said Daddy has to come home to finish the garden. It's so hard to keep explaining to them.

"My son Jude is only coming three and he was tapping Daddy's coffin and pointing up to the sky and I tell him he's up in heaven and then he points to the ground and I have to tell him he's not coming back down."

A joint investigation is being carried out by police and the Health and Safety Executive.

A funeral service was held at the family's home yesterday before Mr Shirley's remains were taken to Roselawn Crematorium.

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