Shocking | 

Nephew of man who died aiding Omagh machete attack victim pays tribute to ‘hard working’ uncle

Paul Brown

The PSNI launched a murder investigation after a 53-year-old man died following an attack outside a house in the Slievecoole Park area of Omagh on Sunday (Credit: Pacemaker)

"He always had a big smile" family share their shock at the murder of Paul Brown

Kurtis Reid and Niamh CampbellBelfast Telegraph

The heartbroken family of Omagh man Paul Brown, who died after helping another man injured in an incident involving a machete, have spoken of their devastation.

Mr Brown (53), who was from the Co Tyrone town, died on Sunday night.

The injured man was still being treated in hospital yesterday

A 20-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder.

Mr Brown’s nephew Barry Brown said no one in Omagh had a “bad word to say” about his uncle.

He added his relative was a “hard worker who loved socialising”.

He said the family are still unclear about what happened as they are waiting on confirmation from the PSNI about the circumstances.

It’s understood that police do not believe Mr Brown died as a result of a machete attack.

A post-mortem is to be carried out.

The PSNI launched a murder investigation after a 53-year-old man died following an attack outside a house in the Slievecoole Park area of Omagh on Sunday (Credit: Pacemaker)

The PSNI said initially that it received a report just before midnight on Sunday that two men had been assaulted by a man armed with a machete, outside a house, in Slievecoole Park.

Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell said officers attended along with colleagues from the Ambulance Service.

The officer added last night: “Sadly, one of the men, aged 53, who had been administering first aid, died a short time later. Another man was taken to hospital for treatment of injuries to his hand.

“A 20-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder, and is currently in police custody.”

Barry Brown said his uncle had lived in Omagh his whole life, and “everyone in the family is in massive shock”.

“It’s not the type of thing you expect to happen, let alone in Omagh, and never mind to someone you know,” he said.

“This type of thing doesn’t happen around here.

“He was such a hard worker, both in the UK and across Ireland. He loved working on building sites for weeks at a time.”

"He always had a big smile" family share their shock at the murder of Paul Brown

Barry said the outpouring of messages of support from members of the local community had been “great to see”.

He added: “Paul was so friendly, he always had a big smile. He would have a drink with everyone and always was great craic and leaving a great impression.”

He said the Paul’s partner Michelle had been “left with a huge gap in her life”.

He added: “It’s extremely sad and shocking.”

“There was a sense of disbelief in Omagh.”

Alliance councillor Stephen Donnelly said he was “shocked” at what had happened.

“My thoughts are with the loved ones of the victim of this horrendous attack,” he said.

“It is a disgusting act of violence and I know people across the local community are deeply disturbed by it. I hope the victim who survived is able to recover from his injuries.

“I urge anyone who has information on this incident to contact police with it immediately.”

Sinn Fein’s Barry McElduff said: “This is a huge tragedy for a local family.

“As chairperson of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, I want to extend my sympathies to the family of the man who has been killed and to the other injured man’s family in this terrible incident.”

A neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said there was “sadness” in the area.

“I’m new to this community, but from what I’ve heard about what has happened I think it’s a real shame... because this is very unusual for this area,” they said.

“It’s a really, really sad incident which has happened, the community is definitely in shock.

“There are lots of people walking around here chatting to each other about it, and everyone is really in shock.”

Rev Robert Herron from Trinity Presbyterian Church said people were “horrified”.

He offered his “respects and sympathies” to the family of the victim and his neighbours who woke up to the news.

DCI Caldwell appealed for witnesses to come forward.

“In order to establish what happened, I am appealing to anyone who was in Slievecoole Park or licensed premises in Gortin Road on Sunday evening, prior to or around the time the assault was reported to us, and who saw what happened to get in touch.

“Did you see anyone acting suspiciously, or might you have captured dash-cam footage?

“If you have any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, please call detectives on 101 and quote reference number 1874 of 16/10/22.”

Alternatively, information can be provided by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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