Northern Ireland news

Bid to repatriate body of Belfast man Richie Molloy following tragedy in Turkey

Richie Molloy

THE family of a north Belfast man who died on a trip to Turkey with friends have travelled to the country to help bring his body home.

Richie Molloy (33), from the Cliftonville Road, was found dead on Saturday, just days after he travelled to the popular holiday spot in the Marmaris region.

His two friends, Aaron Callaghan and Declan Carson were discovered in a critical condition.

The pair were transferred to Mugla University Training and Research Hospital and then to Adnan Menderes University Hospital in the Ayd?n Province.

The Turkish newspaper Sözcü reported one of the men asked for help from the manager of the apartments they were staying in after they became ill.

They have been since taken out of a medically induced coma and are believed to be recovering well.

Members of both men's families have also travelled to Turkey to be at their bedside.

Police in Turkey are investigating the cause of Mr Molloy's death and the result of toxicology tests are still pending.

The Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin has said it is providing consular assistance while a spokesperson for the UK Foreign Office said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who has died in Turkey and we are in contact with the Turkish authorities.”

The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust is assisting the family in bringing Mr Molloy’s remains home.

Colin Bell said: “It’s a very difficult situation. The young fellow died out in Turkey after travelling with his two friends.

“I understand they had been travelling out for dental treatment, we don’t know how it happened but it ended up with Richard dying and the other two lads being seriously ill.”

He added: “At this stage his sister has flown out and she’s been put in touch with the funeral company who are looking after Richard’s repatriation.”

On Friday Aaron Callaghan had posted a picture of the three friends on a boat in the sea with the caption "How’s your Friday".

Mr Callaghan is a former player for St James’ Swifts Football Club, based in west Belfast.

The team posted a message of support saying: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to former first team player Aaron Callaghan today.

“Everyone at the club are thinking of you during this time and we have both you (and) your friends within our hearts.”

Declan Carson, a married father-of-two, is a player with Shamrock Football Club based in Ardoyne.

His father and wife are thought to have travelled out to Turkey to be at his bedside.

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