Two men die fol­low­ing sep­a­rate falls in the Mourne Moun­tains

The Irish Times - - Front Page -

Two men have died fol­low­ing sep­a­rate in­ci­dents in the Mourne Moun­tains in Co Down yes­ter­day.

The Po­lice Ser­vice of North­ern Ire­land (PSNI) said it re­ceived a re­quest for as­sis­tance after a man was re­ported to have fallen while walk­ing on Wee Bin­nian shortly be­fore noon, while an­other man was re­ported to have fallen while walk­ing on Slieve Commedagh just be­fore 1pm.

“Po­lice and other emer­gency ser­vices re­sponded but un­for­tu­nately both men died at the scene. The deaths are not be­ing treated as sus­pi­cious,” In­spec­tor Frances McCul­lough said.

Un­usual

The Mournes are a very pop­u­lar amenity for hill walk­ers. Peo­ple have bro­ken bones in ac­ci­dents but fa­tal­i­ties on the moun­tains are un­usual.

Lo­cal peo­ple said walk­ers faced very strong westerly winds yes­ter­day and there was also poor vis­i­bil­ity at times.

One of the de­ceased came from the Cam­lough area of Co Ar­magh, where lo­cal peo­ple were “dev­as­tated” at the news, ac­cord­ing to the Sinn Féin MLA for Newry and Ar­magh Conor Mur­phy.

Mean­while, South Down DUP Assem­bly mem­ber Jim Wells said he un­der­stood that a man in his early 60s walk­ing on Slieve Commedagh with his son lost his foot­ing and slipped down a grassy slope of the moun­tain, suf­fer­ing fa­tal in­jures when he struck a rock.

He saidthe sec­ond man who died on Wee Bin­nian fell 30 me­tres from the main face of the moun­tain.“It is aw­ful. I’ve rep­re­sented the area for 43 years and I’ve never come across this sit­u­a­tion be­fore,” he said.

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