Tributes pour in for much loved Tyrone chimney sweep tragically killed at work

Eugene Campbell was a gifted performer
Eugene Campbell was a gifted performer

Tributes have poured in for Donaghmore man Eugene Campbell, who tragically died in a workplace accident on Monday [Sept 28].

It is understood the expert chimney sweep fell from a roof in the Bush area.

Eugene performing at the Red Room for a Hub volunteer evening

Eugene performing at the Red Room for a Hub volunteer evening

Well-loved and respected across Mid Ulster, the family man was said to be last chimney sweep in the district who worked with brushes. But his first love was music.

“Chimney sweep was only a second thing in his life,” said the Hub’s Carol Doey. “No matter whose chimney he cleaned you could hear him singing down it.”

Carol said both her and the Hub’s volunteers are devastated by Eugene’s death as the talented performer often played at their events, and more than once pulled them out of a tight spot.

“We are totally gutted,” she said. “I couldn’t work yesterday. He played at our volunteer nights [and] everybody loved him. He was just one of life’s gentlemen.

“He was lovely,” she went on, “he had no faults. He idolised his children and he was very down to earth.

“He cleaned everywhere,” she added. “I think he was the only man left that uses a brush to clean chimneys, everybody else uses a hoover and some kind of equipment.”

Eugene’s good friend Oliver Conlon has posted a poem online, which starts: “A bright light has went out in Donaghmore tonight, The Legend Eugene Campbell has gone to sleep, The twinkle in his eye as he strums the guitar, That great smile we will see no more.

And politicians have also lined up to pay tribute to Eugene, who was originally from Clogher but lived in Donaghmore.

Ulster Unionist MLA Neil Somerville said: “He will be a sad loss to the local community.”

Mr Somerville’s party colleague Councillor Kenneth Reid also expressed his condolences to Mr Campbell’s family, while tributes online have spoken of Eugene as “a joy who filled our home with music”.

Another said: “We enjoyed his music so much, he was a great character.”

The Health and Safety Executive (HSENI) has confirmed it is investigating.