Published Wednesday, 19 September 2012
The farming community is also expected to have a strong presence at the funerals (© Pacemaker)
Emma Spence twice climbed into a slurry tank at the property near Hillsborough on Saturday in efforts to save her 58-year-old father, and brothers 30-year-old Graham and Nevin, aged 22.
Graham was the first to climb down the ladder into the manhole to rescue a pet dog which had disappeared into the slurry tank, Health Minister Edwin Poots - a friend and neighbour of the Spence family - explained.
Noel Spence then tried to save his eldest son and was followed into the tank by Nevin, when the Ulster rugby star realised the other two were in danger. All three men were overcome by the fumes.
Miss Spence then entered the tank and pulled her father onto the ladder, where neighbours - who had heard cries for help - tried to resuscitate the farmer. She went back in to find her elder brother lying in the slurry tank.
When Miss Spence was overcome by the fumes, she was pulled free by neighbours and taken to hospital for treatment.
Emma risked her own life to try and save her father and brothers. Physically, I don't know how she managed it because her dad is a big man.
Mr Poots added: "With the weight of the slurry and so on, she needed to muster unbelievable strength to get him pulled up.
"And then she went back in again, risking her life a second time. It is maybe some comfort to the family she didn't lose her life. She was incredibly brave."
The funerals of Mr Spence and his two sons took place on Wednesday, with rugby players and officials from across Ireland joining relatives and friends at a service of thanksgiving at Ballynahinch Baptist Church.
A private service was earlier held in the Spence home.
Nevin was a rising star in the Ulster Rugby team and had been tipped as a future international.
Flags at all club grounds are to be flown at half mast, at the request of the Irish Rugby Football Union, and the weekend's Pro12 games will observe a minute's silence.
Ulster fans will pay their own tribute at a special memorial service at Ravenhill home ground in Belfast on Sunday.
Health and safety experts are still carrying out an investigation into Saturday's tragedy.