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Wife of Tandragee crash victim Sidney – who would have turned 85 tomorrow – fighting for life in hospital

Prayers are being said for Irene McIldoon - the passenger in the car which was involved in a collision with a tractor - as she remains in a critical condition in hospital

Sidney McIldoon from Tandragee

The wife of Sidney McIldoon – who died after a crash near Tandragee on Tuesday – is fighting for her own life in hospital.

Police have confirmed that Irene Muldoon remains in a critical condition after the collision.

Mr McIldoon – who would have turned 85 tomorrow (Wednesday) – had been the driver of a car which was involved in a collision with a tractor.

It happened on the Cornascriebe Road, between Tandragee and Hamiltonsbawn.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “A female passenger, also aged in her 80s, remains in hospital in a critical condition. The Cornascriebe Road was closed for a time to allow for police to carry out enquiries and has since reopened to traffic.

“Anyone who was travelling in the area and has dash-cam footage is asked to contact the Police Service’s Collision Investigation Unit on 101 quoting reference number 909 of 13/02/24.”

A member of the Orange Order, Sidney McIldoon was well respected in those circles, having been the recipient of a special lifetime achievement award at the Order’s community awards in 2019.

Among the first to pay tribute to Sidney was the County Armagh Grand Orange Lodge.

“The County Grand Lodge Officers and Brethren are deeply saddened at the passing of Wor Bro Sidney McIldoon this afternoon as a result of a traffic accident,” they said in a social media post.

“Sidney was our County Grand Lecturer for several years, also the Grand Lecturer for the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.

“We extend our sincere sympathy to his family and pray that his wife, Irene, will recover from her injuries.

“Psalm 46:1 ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.’”

Also paying tribute on social media was Tandragee District LOL No. 4, of which Sidney was a Past Master.

They said: “He was a gentleman, friend and always a man of sound advice. His loss to his lodge, our District and County and Orangeism as a whole is massive but far greater still is his loss to his family.

“The officers and members of Tandragee District pass on to Bro Clive and the entire McIldoon family our deepest sympathies on their loss and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this most difficult of times.

“We pray for Irene, and pray for the doctors and nurses looking after her in hospital.

“Revelation 21:4 – He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

“I have known Sidney McIldoon for over 40 years, a true gentleman that was held in the highest respect within the local community and indeed throughout Northern Ireland. A man I was proud to call a good friend.

“I send my deepest & heartfelt sympathy to his entire family circle at this difficult time. I trust and pray that his dear wife Irene makes a speedy recovery.”

The Newry & Armagh UUP said: “Newry and Armagh Ulster Unionist Association are deeply saddened to hear of the recent passing of Sidney McIldoon as a result of a traffic accident.

“Sidney was a gentleman, a committed Unionist and a loyal long term member of our Association and the Ulster Unionist Party. He will be missed by us all.

“We extend our sincere sympathy to his family and pray that his wife, Irene, will make a full and speedy recovery from her injuries.

“May the family all know God’s blessing and comfort.”

Alderman Paul Berry commented: “It was with deep sadness when I learned of the sad and tragic death of a good friend Sidney McIldoon following a road traffic accident; the area is in deep mourning.

“This has been a desperate shock to the local community at Ahorey, Tandragee but also across Northern Ireland as Sidney was so well known through the Loyal Orders and especially as a Lecturer at Tandragee Orange District, County Armagh Orange and Grand lodge Lecturer over the years. He travelled the length and breadth of Northern Ireland and further on his Orange duties and was highly respected by everyone.

“He was a solid Unionist and committed Orangeman and one who had sound principles and values and was always an encouraging man to all he came into contact with over the years.

“Our prayers extend to his wife Irene as she is in hospital and also to their son and daughter at this tragic time, the community are holding them all up in their prayers.

“We have lost a really good friend in Sidney and one who will be missed sorely and the family have lost a loving husband and father.”

Newry & Armagh DUP Assemblyman, William Irwin, added: “My thoughts and prayers are with the McIldoon family at this very sad and heart-breaking time and it really is so tragic to learn that Sidney has lost his life in this road traffic accident.

“Sidney was a tremendous man with a real passion for helping others and indeed a very great love for the Loyal Orders. I know he will not only be sorely missed by his family but also by the members of the organisations that he was such an active member of.

“I also continue to pray for his wife who remains in hospital receiving treatment and trust that she recovers from this ordeal.”

A spokesperson for NIFRS said they were called to the scene at 2:33pm yesterday, with three fire appliances attending.

“Firefighters were called to reports of a road traffic collision involving a car and a tractor. Firefighters used specialist road traffic collision equipment to rescue one casualty from the vehicle.

“Unfortunately, a man in his 80s died at the scene. Firefighters left the scene at 3.20pm.”

The NIAS said: “NIAS despatched two Emergency Crews, a two Rapid Response Paramedics and the Charity Air Ambulance with HEMS on board were also tasked to the incident.

“Following assessment and initial treatment at the scene, one patient was taken by ambulance to Royal Victoria Hospital.”

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