heartbreaking | 

Father discovered bodies of son and his friend in Coleraine tragedy, says local councillor

The PSNI are not treating the deaths as suspicious at this time and are satisfied there is no immediate risk to the public
Emergency services at the scene in Coleraine PIC Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

Emergency services at the scene in Coleraine PIC Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

Ralph Hewitt

The father of one of the two men who died in a flat in the Ballysally area of Coleraine discovered their bodies on Monday afternoon, a local councillor has said.

Police confirmed the men, who are understood to be aged aged 53 and 60, had died suddenly but their deaths are not being treated as suspicious.

Emergency services attended the scene in Elms Park, while the Northern Ireland Fire Service was also present wearing hazmat equipment.

On Monday evening, a spokesperson for the PSNI said: "Police, along with other emergency services, responded to the report of the sudden deaths of two men at a property in the Elms Park area of Coleraine on Monday afternoon. The deaths are not being treated as suspicious at this time.”

PUP councillor Russell Watton said the bodies were found in a downstairs flat.

“It was the father of one of fellas that found them,” he stated.

“It’s a major tragedy for this estate and it’s a very close-knit estate in here.

“My deepest sympathy goes out to all the family circles. I know the families and it’s an absolute tragedy for this area.”

DUP MLA Maurice Bradley said he was stunned and saddened by the deaths of the two men.

“This is heartbreaking news coming in the mouth of Christmas and brings unwanted heartache to their families,” said the MLA.

“I would take this opportunity to express my sincere condolences to both men’s families and offer heartfelt prayers at this time of sadness.

“I’ll also pay tribute to the emergency services, who once alerted, were quickly on the scene and have begun investigations into the tragedy.

“Until those investigations are complete, the cause of this tragedy will not be known. I assure that the good people of Ballysally will rally round as a community and offer support at this very difficult time.”

SDLP MLA Cara Hunter also expressed her shock following the discovery of the bodies of the two men.

“My condolences go out to their families and friends at this very difficult time,” she said.

“The local community will be stunned following this incident and my thoughts also go out to them after this distressing ordeal.

“I would ask that people give the police space to carry out their investigation into these sudden deaths so they can establish exactly what took place here. I would also encourage anyone with information about what took place to come forward to police as soon as possible.”

Claire Sugden MLA passed on her “deepest condolences” to the family and friends of the deceased.

UUP councillor Darryl Wilson also expressed his “deepest sympathies” to those impacted by the tragedy.

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