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'Heart-breaking' Tributes paid after sudden deaths of men at flat in Coleraine, Co Derry

Mr McGraw and Mr McAfee were found dead in a property in the Ballysally area yesterday

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Russell McAfee and Nigel McGraw were found dead yesterday

Russell McAfee and Nigel McGraw were found dead yesterday

Russell McAfee and Nigel McGraw were found dead yesterday

Tributes have been paid to friends Nigel McGraw (53) and Russell McAfee (60) who died suddenly on Monday in Coleraine, County Derry.

It is understood the bodies of the men were discovered by Mr McGraw’s father in a flat in the Elms Park area of Ballysally.

In a statement, UUP councillor and Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Council, Richard Holmes, said his “thoughts and prayers are with the men’s family members, friends and neighbours as they come to terms with what has happened."

He added: “I also want to pay tribute to the emergency services. We are very grateful for the role they play in the most distressing of circumstances.”

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service were called to the address shortly after 2.30pm on Monday and were seen wearing hazmat equipment on entering the property.

The men’s deaths are currently not being treated as suspicious.

UUP councillor Darryl Wilson also expressed his “deepest sympathies” to the families of the men.

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

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

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

DUP MLA Maurice Bradley said the death of the two men was “heart-breaking news coming into the month of Christmas and brings unwanted heartache to their families”.

He added: “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.”

MLA Cara Hunter of the SDLP sent her condolences to the families, adding: “The local community will be stunned following this incident and my thoughts also go out to them after this distressing ordeal.”

On social media, Alison Murdoch wrote: "Absolutely heart-breaking and so sad, God love the families x."

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Tanya Ní Dheoráin simply posted: "So sad, may they rest in peace."

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Following the report of the sudden deaths of two men at a property in the Elms Park area of Coleraine on Monday afternoon, police attended the scene, along with other emergency services, and are satisfied that there is no immediate risk to the public. The deaths are not being treated as suspicious at this time.”

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