North Belfast man Richie Molloy family 'devastated' over death in Turkey

  • Published
Turkey flag on boatImage source, Leonid Eremeychuk/Getty Images

The family of a north Belfast man who died in Turkey on Saturday are in "shock" and "devastated", an MP has said.

Richie Molloy, 33, died in a "tragic incident" but it is not yet clear what caused his death.

His friends Aaron Callaghan and Declan Carson are understood to be ill in hospital.

John Finucane said their families were going out to Turkey "desperately wanting to bring their children back".

"The families I have spoken to are grateful for the support but also need space and privacy and this includes people being responsible on social media," the North Belfast MP told BBC's Good Morning Ulster programme.

"There is a family here making arrangements to bring their brother, their son, home and there are two other families just hoping their loved one will pull through," he said.

"So it's a very difficult but we don't have much clarity at this stage as to what exactly has happened."

'Off the machines'

Mr Finucane said that coronavirus restrictions were an "added layer of stress for the families" and that the community would need to "rally round" and support those affected.

Writing on social media, amateur football club St James Swifts said its "thoughts and prayers" went out to Mr Callaghan, a former first-team player.

Colin Bell, from the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, said he understood that Mr Callaghan and Mr Carson were "off the machines and are talking".

He has been in touch with Mr Molloy's sister.

"As long as flights are still running, I do not think Covid will affect the repatriation but it will take four or five days - his body will have to be released to the undertaker, preparations will be made to fly him home and all papers must be signed," he said.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs said it was "aware of the case and providing consular assistance".

"The Department of Foreign Affairs has made contact with all three families and will be assisting them throughout the process."