Fatal Stabbing In Newcastle Shocks Down District

THE tragic murder of 19-year old Paul Owens has shocked the community of Down District. Paul, originally from Ardglass and living in Newcastle, was killed in a knife attack close to the main entrance to the Slieve Donard car park in Newcastle opposite a public house around 1am on Saturday morning. It is understood he was assaulted in the Donard car park when a van pulled up and at least three people got out. He was stabbed three times and had his throat slashed when he managed to escape to the Bryansford Road. He later died at the Downe Hospital. SDLP representatives in South Down expressed the shock felt by the local community at news of the death of a Paul Owens in Newcastle following an assault on the Bryansford Road in the early hours of Saturday. Police have arrested two men aged 26 and 29 and a woman of 20 in connection with the murder. In another stabbing incident last summer Paul was seriously injured when he had a knife plunged into his back and his life then was in danger. [caption id="attachment_20692" align="alignleft" width="286" caption=""Just a senseless murder". Paul Owens was murdered in Newcastle in a horrific knife attack."][/caption] A close friend of Paul who lives in Ardglass said, “I had been talking to him the day before the attack. We were thinking of going to the nightclub in Newcastle but I decided at the last minute not to go. “I think this was part of a feud with the guys from Downpatrick. It has been going on a very long time. This is just a senseless murder.” Paul’s mother Maureen who lives in the Whiterock estate in Ardglass is deeply distressed along with other family members at the news. MP Margaret Ritchie said that when unexplained tragedy strikes the first and proper response of people is sympathy towards the family of the bereaved. She said, “We know little of the circumstances of the death, but what we can be pretty sure of is that his family got a phone call or police visit in the middle of the night, perhaps with advice to rush to the hospital. So our thoughts and prayers are with them now as they try to absorb this terrible news.” Down District Newcastle Councillor Eamonn O’Neill said the shock was all the greater because the general area is so peaceful and quiet. He added, “Apart from the occasional public order nuisance at closing time, generally Newcastle is quiet and orderly, particularly once you get away from the main street. “Nothing will bring this young man back, but when the investigation is completed we will be able to judge whether more can be done to prevent terrible incidents like this.” At a recent Down District Policing Partnership there was discussion about late night drinkers in the seaside town causing disturbances and policing resposnses to this, but this incident appears not to have been part of a wider public disorder issue but an isolated and specific attack on the victim by the assailants who targetted him with knives. A number of people are believed to have been in the area at the time and police are appealing for witnesses to the incident and for information. If anyone has any information about this murder incident they can contact the Newcastle detectives investigating the inquiry at 0845 6008000 or the independent charity Crimestoppers at  0800 555 111 which treats your call anonymously. ]]>