THE mother of the 17-year-old trainee mechanic who died in an accident at a farm on Tuesday this week says her husband has lost “his wingman, his right-hand man and his farmer”.
Neil Graham, from Garrison, had been working on farm machinery at a premises on the Boho Road, Enniskillen when he was killed on Tuesday.
Police attended the scene and the Health and Safety Executive were informed.
Speaking to the Impartial Reporter from the family home yesterday (Wednesday) his loving mother, Joy, said her “precious youngest boy” had his whole life ahead of him.
“I am heartbroken,” she said, “Eddie [her husband] is just devastated. He is even worse than me, if that is possible. He has lost his wing man, his right-hand man and his farmer. We cannot imagine life without him.”
Neil had been studying land-based engineering at South West College’s Omagh campus, having completed his GCSEs at Enniskillen Royal Grammar School.
He had taken on an apprenticeship with Gordon Brown Agricultural Engineering.
Mr. Brown was with him when the accident occurred.
“Gordon saw the potential in Neil and could see what he was capable of,” said Joy, “Our hearts go out to him because he was with Neil when it happened. We take comfort from knowing that he wasn’t on his own - we are very grateful for that.”
Neil was due to celebrate his 18th birthday in July this year. His family had been organising a surprise party for him.
“His cousin is getting married in July too and he was going to be Usher for him,” Joy explained, “He was so excited about it and couldn’t wait for the wedding.
“Life was so good to Neil.
“He loved his work - loved what he was doing. He and Gordon got on so well.
“He had a lovely girlfriend, Heidi, who is just devastated by this.
“He loved country music - loved getting to the country nights and the Jamborees.
“And he had so many friends.”
Besides his work Neil’s great passions in life were farming, his local accordion band, his car and animals.
“He had a great love of farming,” said Joy, “He worked a lot with his dad. He loved his Golden Labrador, Millie, he had hens and a goat, called Rosie.
“Neil had gone to bed late the night before and I was up early so I hadn’t seen him yesterday morning.
“His brother, Jonathan, woke him up and said: ‘Come on Neil, time for work’.

“His father’s lasting memory is of Neil driving around the house yesterday morning with his arm out of the car window, waving and saying: ‘See you, dad’, as he left for work.
“He was just loving life and he had everything going for him.”
His mother paid tribute to the emergency services for their care.
“The hospital staff were exceptionally good to us - so kind. And the police were very good to us as well.
“Our Rector Ngozi Njoku has been so caring - we are hoping she will help us get through this.”
In a message posted to the Enniskillen Royal Grammar School’s app yesterday, headmistress, Elizabeth Armstrong said: “Our entire school community is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Neil Graham.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Neil’s family and friends.
“As a school community we wish to offer support to our pupils who may wish to avail of it and school staff and Education Authority support staff are on hand in school to offer this support.”
The Orange Institution’s annual memorial parade, due to take place in Enniskillen on Sunday, has been postponed as a mark of respect to Neil.
He is survived by his father, Eddie; mother, Joy and siblings, Cherith, Jonathan and Rebecca.