Northern Ireland news

Co Down father-of-one Martin Poland has died five days after bicycle collided with lorry

Martin Poland (54) had been in a critical condition at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital after the accident on Annalong Road. Picture from Facebook

A 54-YEAR-OLD man has died five days after his bicycle was in a collision with a lorry on a busy Co Down road.

Father-of-one Martin Poland had been in a critical condition at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital after the accident on Annalong Road between Newcastle and Kilkeel shortly before 1.30pm on Sunday September 13.

Friends said he was placed in an induced coma before passing away on Friday.

He lived with his wife Mary-Louise and daughter Mary-Anna - who was "the pride and joy of his life" - on Valley Road in Ballymartin, near Kilkeel.

An uncle of Down senior GAA football players Mark and Conor Poland, he was a popular figure in the area and ran his own plastering business.

The keen amateur boxer was involved with the Mourne All Blacks, with professional boxer Marty Kayes, WBU UK regional welterweight champion, British masters middleweight champion and Ulster champion among those paying tribute.

"Devastated to hear the news of the passing of my old coach and friend Martin Poland," he wrote on Facebook.

"The man put so much work into myself and others. I wouldn't of done half of what I've done in boxing without. My thoughts are with his family "

Former workmate Connor OHare described him as "a gentleman" and offered condolences to the family.

Sinn Féin councillor Seán Doran said his death has been "a big shock to the people of Mourne".

"He was very well-known in the area, an outgoing fella who would always have stopped to talk," he said.

"He was a loving father and husband and I would send my condolences to the whole family.

"He was a hard-working fella and it is such a shock and a tragedy that this has happened."

The family club Longstone GAC expressed "our deepest sympathies to the entire Poland family, on the loss of their brother and uncle Martin Poland, at this very sad time" in a post echoed by nearby Mayobridge GAC.

His daughter Mary-Anna wrote an emotional message describing her father was "my life, my world, my everything & more".

His funeral will take place at 11am tomorrow in St Joseph's Church Ballymartin with burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

Mourners have been invited to pay their respects by standing along the route from his home to the church.

His family have asked for donations in lieu of flowers to the Air Ambulance c/o his wife, Mary-Louise Poland, at13 Pious Hill Lower Valley Road Ballymartin BT34 4UG

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