A WEST Cork man has died and five others were injured after a building they were working on partially collapsed over the weekend.
The incident happened on Ashe St, Tralee, Co Kerry, shortly after 8am on Saturday.
Dunmanway native Tom Ross, who was in his 60s and living in Kerry, was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other five males were taken to University Hospital Kerry where they were treated for injuries which are believed to be non-life-threatening.
Mr Ross, aged 68, was well known in the locality for his work in construction and the restoration of old buildings. He will be laid to rest in Kerry on Tuesday.
Tralee Mayor Terry O’Brien said his death has sent shockwaves through the town.
“I would know the individual who died, a very well respected individual,” Mr O’Brien told the PA news agency. “Himself and his family are well known in this trade and would be respected.
“At this time of year, coming up to Christmas, there’s never a good time, but coming up to Christmas is particularly hard. It will be very tough on his family.”
It is understood that the chimney of the building the men had been working on had come loose and led to the collapse.
The deceased has been credited with restoring parts of Tralee town with his efforts in refurbishing old buildings.
“His demise is going to be a loss not alone to Tralee but to all of Kerry and indeed the construction industry,” said local Independent councillor Sam Locke. “He worked on Upper Castle St, where those old buildings were falling down and caused the closure of that part of the town. It’s down to his hard work and skill that that part of the town is now open.