Reece Donohoe (17) who died in workplace accident remembered for ‘glint in his eye’ at funeral

Investigation under way into circumstances surrounding death at Wilton Waste plant in Co Cavan

Reece Donohoe, who died after a workplace incident in Co Cavan on Thursday. Photograph:

Reece Donohoe, who died in a workplace accident last week, was remembered for the “glint in his eye” and the mark he made at his funeral on Tuesday.

A Health and Safety Authority investigation is currently under way following the 17-year-old’s death at the Wilton Waste scrap metal and recycling plant at Kiffagh, near Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan on June 13th. He had been working at the facility when the fatal accident occurred shortly after 4.30pm. Emergency services, including gardaí, fire services and paramedics were called, but the teenager was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The community in the nearby village of Kilnaleck, where the teenager was from, came to standstill on Tuesday afternoon for his funeral procession and Mass. A guard of honour was formed from his home on Upper Main Street to nearby St Patrick’s Church. Shops and businesses closed as a mark of respect.

Mourners of all ages wore light blue and carried photos of the young man, who was remembered as a “fun guy” with a “glint in his eye”. Members of Crosserlough GAA club and some of his colleagues from Wilton Waste also formed a guard of honour outside the church.


Floral tributes included one featuring a tractor reflecting his love of agriculture and rural life. Symbols brought to the altar represented his love of work, music, fishing and other interests.

Fr Peter McKiernan encouraged mourners to be “enriched” by Reece’s memory and “hold on to the happiness” he brought to people’s lives.

“He’s in a place we never would have imagined so young in life,” said Fr McKiernan. Reece, he said, was his mother Mary’s “pride and joy”.

“He was the son who would go to the shops,” he added.

His sister spoke briefly at the end of the service and expressed the family’s gratitude for the support shown to them by the community. “We just can’t express enough how grateful we are for everyone’s support,” she said. “Today we celebrate the life of Reece. Although technically cut short, he has left a stamp on all of us in that period of time and he will never be forgotten.”

He is survived by his mother Mary, father Brian, sisters Amber and Jade and extended family and friends.

A postmortem took place on Friday, and a file will be prepared for the Coroner’s Court. A spokesperson for Wilton Waste said the firm offered their “deepest condolences” to Mr Donohoe’s family at this sad time. As a mark of respect the company also decided to close the gates to their Ballyjamesduff facility until “further notice”.