A LARGE attendance at the funeral service of a Rasharkin man who died following an accident at a building site in Coleraine was a reflection of the huge respect in which he was held.

There was shock in the community following the passing of Francis Kennedy, who was in his 50s.

Mr Kennedy, from Drumack Road, died on Thursday after being injured in an accident in the Greenhall Court area of Coleraine on Tuesday, September 11.

He was well known in the building trade and was also well respected as a member of the Committee at Rasharkin Presbyterian Church and as a member of Loyal Orders and he previously held a prominent position in the Orange Order locally.

North Antrim DUP MLA, Mervyn Storey, told the Times: “I have known the Kennedy family for a good number of years. They are a hard working family and they come from that stock of hard workers and doing the best they can do.

“The death is a devastating blow for his brother and parents. The death is a huge shock and the size of the funeral was a reflection of the respect in which Francis Kennedy was held.

“He was a quiet and unassuming but hardworking individual and will be greatly missed.”

As well as having a successful career in the building trade, Mr Kennedy devoted his spare time to his elderly parents, William and Meta.

Work colleagues of Mr Kennedy described him as “a very decent man who was a big quiet and inoffensive fellow”.

Mr Kennedy, who as well as his parents is also survived by his brother Jim, was laid to rest at St Andrew’s Parish Churchyard in Rasharkin at the weekend following a funeral service at Rasharkin Presbyterian Church.

Last week health and safety officials launched an investigation into Francis Kennedy’s death and police were working to establish the circumstances of the accident.

A PSNI statement said officers in Coleraine were appealing for information following an incident in the Greenhall Court area on Tuesday 11th September.

The statement said: “At around midday it was reported to police that a man had been seriously injured at a building site in the area.

“The man who is in his 50s was taken to hospital with head injuries.

“Police would ask anyone who may have witnessed this incident or who has any information to contact them at Coleraine on 0845 6008000.”

Two inspectors from The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland’s construction team attended the scene in order to begin an investigation to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident.