Northern Ireland

Gardaí rules out link in deaths of three people involved with Bryansford GAC

(l-r) Martin Patterson, Ruth Maguire and Shane McAnallen were all involved with Bryansford GAC 
(l-r) Martin Patterson, Ruth Maguire and Shane McAnallen were all involved with Bryansford GAC  (l-r) Martin Patterson, Ruth Maguire and Shane McAnallen were all involved with Bryansford GAC 

GARDAÍ last night said they were not investigating any link between the tragic deaths of three people in Co Louth who were involved with the same Co Down GAA club.

Ruth Maguire, Martin Patterson and Shane McAnallen died in separate incidents in the area of Carlingford at the weekend.

While it is not known if any of the deceased knew each other, all three had links with Bryansford GAC.

Mother-of-three Ruth Maguire, who was from Belfast but lived in Newcastle, was a juvenile coach at the club for around the past two years.

She had been at a friend's hen party in Carlingford at the weekend when she she went missing on Saturday night.

Friends of the 30-year-old, who was originally from Ligoniel in north Belfast, raised the alarm on Sunday morning and searches were carried out.

Ms Maguire's remains were recovered from the water between Carlingford and Greenore on Monday.

The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, where Ms Maguire worked as a specialist community public health nurse assistant, last night paid tribute to the 30-year-old.

A spokeswoman for the trust said the news of Ms Maguire's death had been met with "disbelief and much sadness".

"Ruth had worked within the school nursing team in the Down area since 5th February 2018," she said.

"During this time, she established great friendships both locally and across the service and she was a much loved and valued colleague. Her loss will be felt across the service for some considerable time."

Meanwhile, Martin Patterson, who was from Bryansford, and Shane McAnallen, who was from Castlewellan, were both former under-age players at Bryansford GAC.

The men, who were both in their twenties, were killed when the car they were travelling in crashed on the Newry Road just outside Carlingford in the early hours of Monday.

It is understood that gardaí had attempted to stop their car prior to the collision.

A spokesperson for the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission said the incident was "currently under examination by GSOC officials, who have visited the scene of the crash".

Speaking to the Irish News yesterday, Noel McDonald, chairman of Bryansford GAC, said it had been a "terrible weekend" for the club.

"As a club and community, we are deeply saddened and devastated to hear of the tragic passing of our under-age coach, Ruth Maguire, and in a separate incident, Marty Patterson and Shane McAnallen who were past under-age players," he said.

Mr McDonald described Ms Maguire as someone who was a "very vibrant, caring and loving person and who would have gone the extra mile not just in the GAA but also for all gymnastics and other activities. She was someone who was very community-orientated.

"She would have been very much a part of our under-age committee," he said.

"We are still in a very state of shock because she will be sadly missed by the club, community and her family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim and the children and rest of the family".

Mr McDonald added: "Marty and Shane were very much involved in under age teams and very much a part of our under-age community. Our thoughts and prayers are also with their families at this difficult time".

A Gardaí spokeswoman said did not believe they were connected.