UK & World News
Farm Tragedy: Funeral For Rugby Star's Family
Three members of one family who died after falling into a slurry tank on their farm will be laid to rest today.
Nevin Spence, a rising star with the Ulster rugby team, and his brother Graham died trying to save the life of their father Noel.
The triple funeral has been described as a "service of thanksgiving" for the three men. They were close in life and perished together when a rescue mission went tragically wrong.
Noel, 58, is believed to have fallen into the tank while attempting to retrieve a dog. Graham, 30, and 22-year-old Nevin both tried to reach their father.
Their sister Emma was also overcome by the fumes but paramedics managed to revive her. She and her sister Laura are comforting their mother Essie at their home near Hillsborough.
Northern Ireland has been stunned by the tragedy. The service is for family and friends but thousands are expected to line the route of the procession to Ballynahinch Baptist Church.
Senior pastor, Rev Rodney Stout, said: "It has been touching. Overall, there has been widespread interest from people across the community, from people just trying to offer their help."
Nevin Spence was destined for a place on the Ireland squad and his Ulster teammates are expected among the mourners.
Ulster captain Johann Muller said: "His positive outlook on life brought a smile to people's faces. He was kind, polite, generous and courageous, and we were blessed to have him in our team."
Fans of the popular centre, who made 42 appearances for Ulster, will have an opportunity to pay their respects at a public memorial at the Ravenhill rugby ground on Sunday.
Graham Spence leaves a wife and two young children. All three men were widely known and respected. This close-knit farming community has more questions than answers.