His workmates realized that they would have to be the ones to inform his widow of his passing.
They trooped over to Patrick's cottage at the end of their shift and solemnly gathered in a semicircle before the door.
The foreman politely knocked.
Flannerty opened it, and looked at the assembled men in surprise.
“Why, good evenin', boys! Err… Where's my Patrick?”
“I'm afraid that's what we've come to tell ye, Missus
Patrick slipped and fell in a vat of our finest stout at the brewery today…”
“… and the poor fellow drowned, he did.”
The widow burst into tears
“Ahh, my poor Patrick! He never had a chance!”
The foreman cleared his throat,
“Uhm, that's not quite so, Missus
He crawled out four times to go to the loo…”