Northern Ireland

Mother (85) and son (54) arrested after Co Tyrone murder

A murder probe has been launched after the death of John Kelly in Co Tyrone in June
A murder probe has been launched after the death of John Kelly in Co Tyrone in June

A mother and son have been questioned by detectives investigating the death of a pensioner in Co Tyrone earlier this year.

The victim has been named locally as 84-year-old John Kelly.

It is believed the two people arrested were his widow and a son.

The father-of-five, who lived in the Blackwater Road area of Dromore, died at the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen on June 30.

It is understood the PSNI attended Mr Kelly's home around the time of his death two months ago.

Police confirmed last night that a 54-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder while an 85-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of withholding information and perverting the course of justice.

Both were arrested in the Dromore area on Tuesday and after being interviewed were released on police bail pending further enquiries.

Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell last night said that “as a result of our enquiries into the circumstances surrounding (a) man’s death at an address on Blackwater Road I have launched a murder investigation".

A well-known figure in the area he had worked as a shopkeeper and postmaster.

During Requiem Mass at St Davog's Church in Dromore in July, Fr Patrick MacEntee said Mr Kelly "goes from this world deeply mourned by his family as a quiet man of quiet strength and quiet love.

"He goes mourned too by close friends and a community that knew him as an unassuming man who worked in their midst as a postmaster and shopkeeper, who had a friendly word for everyone and a harsh word for no one," he said.

Fr MacEntee told the congregation that Mr Kelly, who was a grandfather of 13, had been married for 60 years and lived in England and Belfast before returning to Dromore.

He later opened a business at Stralongford, which is near Dromore.

"John lived his life as an attentive, loving husband, father and eventually grandfather.

"As well as building a family he build a fine family home in his native Badoney and at the same time built up a shop and post office business at Stralongford where he was very popular, something of a fixture in the lives of many locals."

Mr MacEntee said Mr Kelly had a strong faith.

"Like many things in John’s life his faith was quiet but built into him," he said.

"Without fanfare he went to Mass, said his prayers and simply held the things of God as a given that he cherished .

"John would never appear at Mass of anywhere else except in a collar and tie, neat and immaculately groomed.

"It indicated too that he liked everything in its place, organized and looking well."

Fr MacEntee spoke of the circumstances of Mr Kelly's death.

"Although John’s death was a shock it would surely have been his choice as against the long goodbye of prolonged illness," he said.

"A quiet departure as befits one who lived a quiet life and who gently fell into the arms of the Lord."