Funeral of campaigner halted by state of road

A Hillsborough man who campaigned to have the road outside his house cleaned up, had his funeral cortege halted due to the muddy state of the very same road.

Nevin Beckett passed away suddenly last week after suffering a heart attack. His funeral was held on Tuesday.

The funeral cortege attempted to walk down Millvale Road, but they had to stop after 20 yards due to the muddy condition of the lane - something the 61-year-old had been campaigning to have addressed.

His wife Bernadette told the Star that it is very painful to think that something that her husband had been trying to get sorted, ultimately prevented mourners from walking behind his coffin.

She said: “The lane would be muddy all the time and when it rains there is a large pool. We buried my husband yesterday (Tuesday) I would have liked for the funeral to have walked down this lane and carry the coffin a little further.

“They had to stop after 20 yards and put the coffin back in the hearse, because it was unfair to ask people to walk through the mud. The pool of chocolate coloured water forced everyone to get into their cars.

“This issue had caused my husband a great deal of stress and annoyance and it is somewhat ironic that his funeral could not proceed down the lane because of the state of that road.

“It is very upsetting to think that my husband has been chasing this up for a long time and he had been passed from pillar to post.

“My 18-year-old son on the day of his father’s funeral was out in his boots scraping mud off the road, just so that the funeral could pass with some dignity.”

Local councillor Pat Catney spoke of his shock and sadness at the news of Mr Beckett’s passing and told the Star that he had taken the road issue up with the relevant authorities.

He said: “It’s an ongoing problem. I met with Nevin and he did speak to me about this issue. It’s a problem all over Lagan Valley.

“Some people need to realise that they are not the only ones using the road and they should leave them in a good condition. “Those that are using large agricultural or plant hire need to be able leave the roads in good condition.”