Northern Ireland

Aidan Fitzpatrick: Family say cyclist's organs will help five people

Aidan Fitzpatrick Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Aidan Fitzpatrick, 59, worked for the Equality Commission and was described as "a true gentleman"

The family of a cyclist who died after a crash has said they are devastated but comforted by the fact he has helped five families by donating his organs.

Aidan Fitzpatrick, 59, was one of two cyclists involved in a car crash near Downpatrick in County Down on Sunday afternoon.

His family said organ donation was "typical of his giving nature".

He worked for the Equality Commission and its chief executive paid tribute, describing him as "a true gentleman".

The collision happened on Killyleagh Road at about 14:00 BST on Sunday.

'Hope from loss'

In a statement, his family said: "We are devastated to lose our beloved Aidan.

"We have met Aidan's wish to donate his organs and will find comfort that five other families may get hope from our loss.

Image caption The collision happened on Killyleagh Road near Downpatrick on Sunday

"Aidan's forethought to be an organ donor is typical of his giving nature and care for others.

"The family is grateful for the many messages of sympathy and support we have received and would ask for privacy at this difficult time."

The chief executive of the Equality Commission, Dr Evelyn Collins, said Mr Fitzpatrick's colleagues were shocked and saddened by his death.

"Aidan worked with the Fair Employment Commission and then the Equality Commission and made a huge contribution to equality in work places across Northern Ireland over his long career," she said.

"He was a true gentleman and will be greatly missed by all of us.

"We send our heartfelt sympathies to his family and friends at this very sad time."