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'Much loved' Tralee mourns tragic death of 68-year-old after building collapse

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Tom Ross

Tom Ross

Tom Ross

TRALEE is in mourning today following the tragic death of well-known builder Tom Ross in a workplace accident yesterday morning.

The 68-year-old much-loved father and grandfather died after a chimney collapsed on a building he was renovating on Ashe Street at 8am yesterday morning. Five more men were injured in the accident and taken to University Hospital Kerry and University Hospital Cork, but their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

It is believed that Mr Ross was standing on the ground when the chimney collapsed and he was trapped underneath the rubble. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Originally from West Cork, Mr Ross had also lived in the UK previously, but had been living in Kerry for many years and his home was in Fenit, just outside Tralee.

Tributes have been paid to the 'gentle giant' who will be greatly missed.

Close friend Garry O'Donnell, who is the proprietor of Baily's Corner, said that there is sadness across the town.

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The building where the chimney collapsed on Ashe Street in Tralee

The building where the chimney collapsed on Ashe Street in Tralee

The building where the chimney collapsed on Ashe Street in Tralee

"He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.He was a gentle giant with the heart of a lion."

"I went home last night and opened an expensive bottle of wine to Tom because he deserved it."

He said Mr Ross always looked on the bright side of life and encouraged everyone to do the same.

Mr Ross was known as a hard-worker who had worked on many projects in the town of Tralee over the years and many of his family also worked along-side him in his construction business.

"Tom would do anything for you," added Mr O'Donnell "Everyone is saddened by his death."

Mayor of Tralee Cllr Terry O'Brien said that the news of Mr Ross’s death sent shock-waves across the town.

"The whole town is shocked. He is a big loss. He was a good grafter and a good employer."

He expressed sympathy to Mr Ross's family and friends on their tragic loss made more difficult so close to Christmas.

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Flowers placed for Tom Ross, who died when part of a building collapsed on Ashe Street in Tralee

Flowers placed for Tom Ross, who died when part of a building collapsed on Ashe Street in Tralee

Flowers placed for Tom Ross, who died when part of a building collapsed on Ashe Street in Tralee

The scene of the accident remains cordoned off and bouquets of flowers have been laid at the site in memory of him.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have begun an investigation into the circumstances of the accident.

The building on Ashe Street, which had been empty for some time, was being renovated to open as a pharmacy.

Work had taken place over the past few months on the building, which is close to the court-house and along-side the Ashe Street medical centre.

Gardaí are also continuing their investigations into the accident.

No funeral arrangements have yet been announced for Mr Ross.

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