Tragic Co Tyrone angler ‘larger than life character’

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A grandfather who died while fishing in Co Tyrone was a “larger than life character”, a local priest has said ahead of his funeral.

Frank Donnelly, a father-of-one who had become a grandfather just weeks ago, died after he went into a river in Benburb, Co Tyrone while fishing on Saturday afternoon.

His funeral will take place at St John’s Church in Moy at 11am on Tuesday, followed by interment in St Patrick’s Cemetery, Eskra.

Fr John Hughes, of Clonfeacle Parish, said: “He was a well-known man, a stone mason and builder, and a good worker.

“He’s been living in the Moy area for some time now and we’re all very sorry to hear about the accident, and so is the whole community in the Moy.

“His son, Ryan, had just recently had a new baby, no more than a month ago.”

Fr Hughes added: “I think everybody agrees that he was a larger than life character.”

A local resident said a passer-by helped recover the man from the river and made attempts to resuscitate him until emergency services arrived.

Police are not treating his death as suspicious.

He is described in a family notice as “deeply regretted by Eileen, son Ryan, Rebecca and grandaughter Evie, brothers Michael and John, sister-in-law Catherine, nephew Conor and wider family circle”.