Son pays tribute to ‘much loved father who will never be forgotten’


The son of a 57-year-old Ballyclare man who was killed in a tragic accident at business premises in Doagh has said he was “a much loved father” who will “never ever be forgotten.”

Stephen Hegarty, an employee at Chain Reaction Cycles, died at the firm’s Kilbride Road warehouse on Tuesday night. It’s thought that he may have been crushed between two vehicles.

His son Craig told the News Letter that Stephen was “a much loved father of three who will be sorely missed and never ever forgotten.”

An investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr Hegarty’s death is being carried out by Newtownabbey Council’s Environmental Health department under legislation relating to health and safety in the workplace.

“It is the council’s responsibility to investigate the circumstances of the death under the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978,” a council spokesperson confirmed.

“Council staff were quickly on site at the premises last night and investigations are ongoing. We extend sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of the man who died.”

A spokesperson for Chain Reaction Cycles added: “I can confirm that as a result of an accident at our Kilbride Road site last night, one of our employees has tragically died. Our immediate concerns and sympathies are with his family, friends and colleagues at this very difficult time.

“Chain Reaction Cycles is working closely with both the PSNI and HSENI regarding the circumstances which led to this tragic accident and until their investigations are complete we are unable to comment any further.”

South Antrim MLA Paul Girvan, who knows the Hegarty family, added: “This is a really, really sad case - the family is just totally destroyed.

“I know an investigation is being carried out into what happened, but apparently it was just a genuinely tragic accident.

“This is a really terrible loss and my thoughts and prayers are with the family at this sad time.”