Detective Chief Inspector Darren McCartney speaking about the death of a man at Tyrella Beach last Thursday evening said: “I can confirm that 22 year old Darren O’Neill, who was admitted to hospital following an incident at Tyrella Beach near Newcastle on Thursday 27th June, has died.
“I would like to offer my sympathy to the family and friends of Darren at this very sad time.
“Our enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances surrounding Darren’s death and I would appeal to anyone who may have witnessed this incident or who has any information to contact detectives on 101 quoting reference number 1913 27/06/19.”
A 21-year old man has been charged to appear at court in July for grievous bodily harm in relation to this incident. A post-mortem examination will be carried out in due course to determine the cause of death.
Sinn Fein South Down MP Chris Hazzard has said the local community is in shock following the death of a young man in an incident on Tyrella beach.
The South Down MP said: “There is shock and sadness in the local community following the death of DArren O’Neil, a 22-year-old man, in an incident in Tyrella beach.
“A police investigation is underway and that must be allowed to proceed.
“My thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of this young man at this tragic time.”
And the SDLP’s South Down MP Colin McGrath has said the local community has been left devastated following the death of Darren O’Neill (22) on Sunday.
He said: “The entire community has been devastated following news that young Darren O’Neill tragically passed away on Sunday. Following the events of Thursday night, it certainly left the people of South Down deeply concerned about what had taken place at Tyrella.
“Emphasis was placed on encouraging anyone with information to bring it forward to the PSNI to allow them to carry out their investigation while we were all hoping that Darren would recover from his injuries.
The community must now deal with the aftermath of these tragic events. The death of a young person is always a traumatic event, however, for a young man to lose his life in such devastating circumstances is all the more saddening. Whether we are parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, professionals etc we all want to safeguard our children and young people. Today our entire community mourns the death of a young man whose life showed such potential and promise. I extend my deepest condolences to Darren’s family and friends.
“Instances where someone has died or been left in a critical condition as a result of these one punch attacks are happening all too often and I believe all of us have a duty of care to inform young people particularly of the result of actions such as these.
“That’s a conversation for another day and will require input from schools, sporting organisations, parents and more. For now though, there is a family in grief and a twenty one year old man will appear in court because of this. We must allow them to grieve and see that justice is done for their son.”