Community 'numb' after four deaths

Published: 25 Oct 2012 13:000 comments

PSNI Inspector Roy Robinson has said the tragic -- and unconnected -- deaths of four local people in Fermanagh in the last week have left him "completely numb". The senior police officer said the scale of the recent tragedies was "unprecedented".

"I have never heard of four sudden deaths so close together in the one area in all my years in the police. Words cannot describe how difficult this is for the families, friends and local community. I feel helpless and wish these deaths could have been avoided, I am completely numb," said Inspector Robinson.

Following 15-year-old's Joshua Gallagher's tragic death last week, police received a report of a sudden death at Main Street in Maguiresbridge on Wednesday. The deceased was a 69-year-old man, named locally as Michael Joseph Gavin. At 10.28am on Thursday police received a report of a sudden death at Currin Road, Ballinamallard. The deceased was 35-year-old Trevor Morrow. At 2.44pm on Monday of this week, police received a report of a sudden death at Skeogue Road, Aghalun, Brookeborough. The deceased was a 54-year-old man, named locally as Eddie McDowell.

Police in Fermanagh are investigating the circumstances of each death on behalf of the coroner.

"If you are reading this and you need help then please talk to someone -- a priest, a minister, someone you feel comfortable with," appealed Inspector Robinson.

There was much shock and sadness following Joshua Gallagher's tragic passing last week. The young man, whose brother Andrew has described him as "inspirational", was found dead at his Enniskillen home. On Monday his family and friends said an emotional goodbye to the much-loved teenager at his funeral service in Enniskillen and Belfast.

Now police say they are continuing to conduct enquiries with his school; the Erne Integrated College, his friends and associates and social networking sites -- where many of his friends have claimed he had been the victim of bullying -- "to piece together what was occurring in Joshua's life in the weeks prior to October 15".

A PSNI spokesperson added: "A report on the post-mortem examination and the enquiries is now being prepared on behalf of the Coroner for the purposes of an inquest. In the meantime, if anyone has information that may assist, and has not yet spoken to police, we would ask them to contact us in Enniskillen."

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