'Kind family man and loving father' is laid to rest

Published: 1 Jul 2010 16:00

"THE family are deeply traumatised by their loss. Colin was a good man. A hard working man. A kind man. A family man and a loving father."

The crashed car in which Colin McCaffrey died, is removed from the scene of the accident on the Derrylin to Ballyconnell Road following the accident early on Monday morning.

The words of Father Fintan McKiernan in a poignant tribute to Colin McCaffrey, who died in a tragic road accident in Derrylin on Monday morning.

Mr. McCaffrey, a 34-year-old father of two from Camletter was killed when his Volkswagen car crashed on the Ballyconnell Road. It is understood he had watched Fermanagh play Monaghan in the Ulster Championship in Cavan.

It is believed no other vehicle was involved in the accident.

His funeral took place yesterday morning in St. Ninnidh's Church in Derrylin and was conducted by Father McKiernan.

The choir from Mount Lourdes in Enniskillen, where Mr. McCaffrey's wife Sharon works, sang at the service.

Speaking to The Impartial Reporter, Fr. McKiernan said Mr. McCaffrey's family have been left "traumatised" by his tragic death.

"They aren't fit to express anything. They are just overcome. Colin was a very strong family man, very strong. He loved his wife Sharon and their children Katie (6) and Jason (2) dearly. Sharon and Colin were a very happy couple, a very close couple. They supported one another and did everything together. They have been together since school days, they were at college together and knew each other's friends. She would have associated with his pals and he would have associated with her pals through the years. That's the way they went about their lives. They did everything together," he said.

Fr. McKiernan described Mr. Caffrey as "very enterprising and progressive", having established a successful waste disposal business.

"He was very hard working. He ran a good business and was a hell of a worker. A butcher from Sligo phoned me last night to send his condolences. He said Colin was the nicest businessman that he's ever had dealings with. I thought it was lovely for that man to phone me to tell me that. It just shows how much people thought of Colin and how much he will be missed."

Sinn Fein MLA Michelle Gildernew paid her respects this week: "I would like to pass on my sympathies to the family of the deceased. This death is a tragic loss for the entire community, especially the young family that he leaves behind. My thoughts are with them at this terrible time. This man's family is well known and respected throughout Fermanagh and further afield and this death will affect a great number of people," she said.

Tommy Gallagher, SDLP MLA, said: "I wish to express my deep regret at this death and hope the family can take some small consolation in the wider community gathering around in support at this most terrible of times."

PSNI Inspector David Nixon says police are appealing for information into the fatal accident: "No family can be prepared for such tragic circumstances. The trauma upon the immediate and wider family circle cannot be measured and will be felt for a life time. I am appealing to any motorist who was travelling along the Ballyconnell Road towards Derrylin, or towards Ballyconnell, in the early hours of Monday morning the 28th of June at approximately 3am and who saw a Volkswagen Passatt, registration number XIL 8704, to contact me at Omagh Police Station, telephone 0845 600 8000."

So far this year 25 people have died on Northern Ireland's roads compared with 59 for the same period last year.

Environment Minister Edwin Poots expressed his shock and concern following a weekend of tragedy on roads across the province: "I would urge everyone to slow down and pay careful attention to what is happening on the road ahead and around you. If you look back over the past number of years, and the past few months in particular, you can see that road deaths have been coming down. However, the events of the weekend show how quickly disaster can strike, and how important it is that our efforts to end the carnage should continue."

Colin McCaffrey is survived by his wife Sharon, children Jason and Katie, his parents Hugh and Dolores, his sister Gemma, brothers Mark and Gary and the wider family circle.

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