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Tributes paid to young man killed by falling tree in south Armagh

Tributes have been paid to a “genuine and thoroughly decent young man” after he was struck by a falling tree in south Armagh on Wednesday.

Matthew Campbell, who was in his 20s, was working as a contractor for Northern Ireland Water at Slieve Guillion Forest Park when the tragic incident occurred.

In a statement, a Lagan Construction Ltd, for whom Mr Campbell was working for at the time, said: “Lagan Construction Limited can confirm that two of its employees were involved in a serious incident at Slieve Gullion Forest Park yesterday whilst working on behalf of NI Water.

“We are deeply saddened to confirm that one of our employees has passed away as a result of their injuries and that another employee has been seriously injured and is currently being treated in Hospital.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the two families at this time.

“We are offering support and counselling services to colleagues and we continue to work closely with the statutory authorities.”

NI Water chief executive, Sara Venning said: “Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family and friends of this young man.

“This was a tragic incident and NI Water will continue to work with the statutory authorities and the contractor as they carry out their investigations.”

Mr Campbell’s former principal at Royal Belfast Academical Institute, speaking to the BBC, said: “When he left school, in 2012, the school established an award for attendance, which as of the 20 September 2018 is renamed ‘The Matthew Campbell Award for Outstanding Attendance’ and will be rewarded each year, in his memory.”

“Matthew loved Inst and he embraced its spirit of being involved, of engaging in his learning and of supporting others.

“As a school community our thoughts are with his fiancée, family and friends.”

A death notice published online read: “Devoted son of Mark and Pamela, dearly loved fiance of Robyn, cherished brother of Ashley and fiance Kyle, uncle of Baby Zara, grandson of Jack and Beryl, Fred and Isa.”

Mr Campbell’s funeral will take place in Ballyclare on Monday, September 24.

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