Northern Ireland news

Tributes to west Belfast man following sudden death in Benidorm

West Belfast man Paul McOwen passed away on Monday while on holiday in Benidorm
Marie Louise McConville

The remains of a west Belfast man who died suddenly in Spain are expected back home early next week.

Paul McOwen, who was from the Whiterock Road area, passed away on Monday in Benidorm.

It is believed Mr McOwen, who was 39, was on holiday in the resort with friends.

A statement on Facebook on the Whiterock Westrock Historical & Cultural Society said Mr McOwen would be "sadly missed".

"It is with deep regret (we have) learnt of the passing of Paul, he will be sadly missed by his friends in the Whiterock, Westrock areas, we have lost a great friend and neighbour. Sincere condolences at this sad time to Paul's family".

The cause of Mr McOwen's death is not yet known however it is understood his remains will arrive back in Ireland early next week with the help of the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust.

Sinn Féin councillor Steven Corr, who knew Mr McOwen, described him as a "well known fella in the area".

"I have known Paul a long time," he said.

"I spoke to him last week.

"His family are devastated at the news. I have been in daily contact with his family".

Mr Corr said two of Mr McOwen's sisters had flown out to Benidorm.

"We as a community just want to help as best we can," he said.

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