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'Devastated' Tributes to Wexford council worker who died during Storm Eunice as he is named locally

The man was fatally injured when he was struck by a falling tree.

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Waves crash on the shore at Lahinch, Co Clare, as Storm Eunice continues to rage across Ireland (Eamon Ward/PA)

Waves crash on the shore at Lahinch, Co Clare, as Storm Eunice continues to rage across Ireland (Eamon Ward/PA)

Waves crash on the shore at Lahinch, Co Clare, as Storm Eunice continues to rage across Ireland (Eamon Ward/PA)

A council worker who died following a tragic accident while clearing debris caused by Storm Eunice has been named locally as Billy Kinsella.

Mr Kinsella (59) and a colleague were clearing trees when another came down in the strong winds, fatally injuring him.

The incident occurred late this morning in the Ballythomas area of Wexford, close to the Wicklow border.

A neighbour of the Kinsella family, Wexford County Councillor Anthony Donohue, described Billy as a hard working father.

“If he could do anything for you he would. As a community, we’re just devastated,” he told sundayworld.com.

“I haven’t got to see his family yet, but his wife Rita and his son Conor, they must be just devastated.”

“It is the second tragedy in the space of hours, we’re completely numb,” he said.

“My other neighbour, a mother of one, just didn’t wake up this morning.

“They live just a kilometre for each other, so the community is reeling.”

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Councillor Anthony Donohoe

Councillor Anthony Donohoe

Councillor Anthony Donohoe

Wexford TD James Browne said: "Very sad news about the Wexford County Council worker who was fatally injured during Storm Eunice today.

"I want to extend my deepest sympathies to his family, colleagues and community at this very sad time."

"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam," he added.

CEO of the HSE Paul Reid also paid tribute.

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"Thoughts with the family, friends & colleagues of the Wexford County Council worker who sadly lost his life today, whilst clearing debris from the storm," he said.

"We owe a huge debt to workers who put themselves at risk at these times."

TD Simon Harris said: "Such sad news emerging from the Wicklow-Wexford border this afternoon.

"My thoughts are with the man’s family, friends and community after such a tragic accident."

In a statement, Wexford County Council shared their condolences.

“It is with deep regret and sadness that Wexford County Council confirms that one of our employees was fatally injured earlier today in a workplace accident."

“The accident occurred as the employee attended the scene of a fallen tree in the North Wexford area.

“The employee’s family, An Garda Síochána and the Health and Safety Authority have been informed.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the employee’s family, work colleagues and friends at this very difficult time.”

Gardaí and emergency services attended the scene but Mr Kinsella was later pronounced dead and the man’s body was transferred to Waterford University Hospital where a post-mortem will take place in due course.

A Gardaí spokesperson said in a statement: “Gardaí and emergency services attended a fatal incident this morning, 18th February 2022 in the Ballythomas area of Co. Wexford.”

“It is understood that a man, aged in his 60s, was injured as a result of a falling tree. The man was later pronounced deceased at the scene.”

“The body of the man will be removed to Waterford University Hospital where a post-mortem will take place in due course. The Health Safety Authority (HSA) have been notified and are due to attend the scene.”

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