Mayor leads tributes to council worker killed by telegraph pole

As a mark of respect to an employee who was killed in a work accident, members of Cork County Council adjourned their meeting in County Hall yesterday after offering their sympathies to the deceased’s family.

Cllr Barbara Murray, the county mayor, led tributes to Michael O’Donovan who died last Friday when a tree fell onto overhead wires and dragged down a telegraph pole which struck the father of three.

The county council, the Health and Safety Authority, and the gardaí are carrying out separate investigations into his death.

Ms Murray said the tragedy had “reverberated” throughout all sections of the local authority.

“It has affected his work colleagues and everybody in the council.

“I’d like to convey my deepest sympathies to his wife, Yvonne, sons Alex and Zack and daughter, Robyn,” she said.

Cllr Kevin Murphy said staff were “shocked and stunned” by what had happened.

Cllr Alan Coleman said: “Nobody goes to work expecting something like this to happen.”

Cllr John Mulvihill said the council had an excellent safety record over the years.

“We often complain about health and& safety [regulations] holding back work but you can’t have enough of those regulations.”

County manager Martin Riordan said all staff were shocked by the tragedy and the council would provide every assistance possible to the family.

Mr O’Donovan was a native of Dripsey who lived in Aghabullogue and worked for the council’s water services department.

Cllr Derry Canty said, two weeks ago, Mr O’Donovan had been elected chairman of Ballincollig Athletic Club.

He said there was great sadness in that town as Mr O’Donovan’s children attend the local Gaelscoil Uí Ríordáin primary school and Coláiste Choilm secondary school.

Cllr Deirdre Forde extended her sympathies to Mr O’Donovan’s family and colleagues. “I hope that if any other council employees witnessed this terrible tragedy they will also receive every help possible from this council.”

Mr O’Donovan is reposing at his home in Aghabullogue between 2pm and 5pm today. He will then be removed to the Church of the Immaculate Conception, The Lough, arriving at about 6pm. He will be buried at St Oliver’s Cemetery in Ballincollig, following requiem Mass at noon tomorrow.

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