Emotional tributes paid to well-known grandfather who died in building collapse

Tom Ross died after a building collapsed in Tralee, County Kerry (Image: Domnick Walsh)

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A well-known builder and developer who died after part of a building collapsed has been described as a "mild-mannered giant of a man'".

Tom Ross was buried in ruble while working at a property in County Kerry, Ireland at 8am on Saturday.

The 68-year-old was killed when the chimney section gave way during renovation works, Irish Mirror reports.

Five other men were also injured in the building collapse, with their injuries described as not life-threatening,

It's not known if any members of Mr Ross' family were working with him when he died.

It is understood the grandfather, who has worked around Tralee for 40 years, was on the ground floor of the three-storey building on Ashe Street when it collapsed. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Ross was killed when the chimney section gave way during renovation works
(Image: Radio Kerry/PA Wire)

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Sinn Fein TD Pa Daly knew Mr Ross, who built his first house and solicitors office on nearby Rock Street.

He said: "He was a giant of a man, a big man, very well known for his strength.

"Often known to lift steel bars that nobody else could lift up to get them in place, he had a very hands on approach. But mild-mannered as well.

"When I was building my house he gave me a break on the length of time I had to pay him, there was no problem.

"He was a very, very decent fella to deal with."

"It's one of those days where you take stock and pause," he added.

Five other men were also injured in the tragedy
(Image: Domnick Walsh)

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"It has pushed other issues and conversations down the list.

"The town centre would have been quiet at the time and they obviously went in to get a bit of work done."

Mr Ross was originally from West Cork and spent some time working in England.

Mayor of Tralee, Terry O'Brien, said the tragedy was "terrible news for Tralee".

"We're all very shocked and saddened by what's after happening," he said.

"There's no good time of the year for it to happen, but coming up to Christmas it makes it even harder.

"We're all taken aback by it."

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Authority have begun an investigation
(Image: Domnick Walsh)

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Gardai closed off Ashe Street following the accident, and inspectors from the Health and Safety Authority have begun an investigation.

A garda spokesperson said: "A male was pronounced dead at the scene.

"Five further males were also injured during the incident.

"They have been taken to University Hospital Kerry where they are being treated for their injuries which are not believed to be life threatening.

"The HSA and local coroner have been notified.

"Investigations are ongoing."

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