Ulster Rugby's talented 22 year old centre Nevin Spence has died tragicially in an incident on his family farm in Hillsborough, Co Down
Ulster and Irish Wolfhounds player Spence was one of three men killed when four people fell into a farm's slurry tank, Ulster Rugby has confirmed. Rising star Spence, 22, played at centre for the provincial side and was called up to the Ireland training squad for the Six Nations last year. The other men, aged 52 and 30, who died at Hillsborough, Co Down, are believed to be his brother and his father. A woman thought to be his sister is being treated in hospital.
Ambulance crews were called to the farm just after 6pm on Saturday. The woman who was pulled alive from the slurry pit was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast where she is recovering from the effects of fume inhalation.
Spence had established himself as a regular in the Ulster squad in recent seasons, playing 42 times. The former Wallace High School player made his first appearance for Ulster against Ospreys in April 2010. A squad member for last seasons Heineken Cup Final, after an injury-hit start to this season, he played for the Ulster Ravens, the club's reserve side, against Munster A at Deramore Park in Belfast on Friday. Spence was named Young Player of the Year at the Irish Rugby Union Players' Association Awards last year.
Away from rugby, Spence helped out on the family farm and regularly and enthusiastically updated his many followers on Twitter and Facebook with pictures from the farm. With his farming background, he recently signed as a brand ambassador for the Dairy Council of Ireland.
The accident at the farm in Drumlough Road, Hillsborough, is to be investigated by the Norther Ireland Health and Safety Executive. The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) sent rapid response teams when it was called to the farm.
Counterparts from the fire service pulled four people from the slurry pit, three of whom were unconscious. Paramedics tried to resuscitate the three men but two died at the scene. The third man initially responded to resuscitation and was taken to the nearby Lagan Valley Hospital in Lisburn, where he died a short time later.
The Connacht Clan sends its deepest sympathies to the Spence Family, Ulster Rugby and its supporters at this very difficult time.
Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha dílse.......