Northern Ireland news

PSNI 'liaising' with Spanish authorities over west Belfast man Paul McOwen's death

The PSNI is liaising with Spanish authorities following the sudden death of west Belfast man Paul McOwen last month
Marie Louise McConville

THE body of a man who died on holiday in Spain is being held by police in Belfast as his family seek answers about his death.

The PSNI has confirmed it is liaising with Spanish authorities on the sudden death of Paul McOwen.

Mr McOwen (39), from the Whiterock Road area of west Belfast, died on holiday in Benidorm on September 10.

A postmortem examination was carried out and his body was released to his family.

However, on seeing his remains back home, the family voiced concerns about unexplained injuries.

It is understood the family then pursued an independent second examination by a pathologist travelling from the Republic. The PSNI was notified.

Mr McOwen’s remains are still being held by the PSNI’s forensic services and his family, who have hired legal representation, have been unable to hold a funeral.

On Tuesday police said: “Following the results of an independent postmortem, PSNI detectives are continuing to assist the family of a male who died in Benidorm.

“Specialist family liaison officers have been appointed to assist the family at this difficult time. Detectives continue to liaise with the Spanish authorities in order to progress enquiries into the circumstances of the death.”

Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey said: “Party colleagues have been liasing with the McOwen family from day one, when they found out about this awful tragedy in Benidorm.

“This is quite an unprecedented case and the normal channels through which we work have been stretched. This is a unique case and... has taken a lot of thinking outside the box.

“The family are understandably distraught at this stage, given the length of time between the date of Paul’s passing in Benidorm, the whole trauma of identifying him out there and then bringing him home to Belfast, where they realised there were questions about their loved one’s death.

“We will continue to support this family in their quest for truth. This family’s grief cannot be overestimated. It is now almost five weeks since they received the awful news.”

A solicitor representing the family declined to comment.

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