Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Town devastated as 'likable young man' dies in stabbing

Kevin O'Neill
Kevin O'Neill

A town has been left in shock after a popular young man died following a stabbing incident.

Police have launched a murder investigation after the death of 25-year-old Kevin O'Neill at a house in the Ballycastle area of Co Antrim yesterday.

A 28-year-old man has been arrested in connection with Mr O'Neill's death at an address in the Stroanshesk Park area of the town.

Sinn Fein councillor Cara McShane said the community was "distraught and devastated" by news of the death, particularly as another local resident had died in a fire in the town on Friday.

"It's a very sad set of circumstances," she said.

"The town is completely in shock and all our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family.

"His father and family are well known in the area; they are great, hard working, well liked people."

Independent councillor Padraig McShane described Mr O'Neill's death as an absolute tragedy and also extended his sympathy to his family.

Mr McShane had worked with Mr O'Neill for over a year and said he will be sorely missed.

"Kevin was a likable young man," he said.

"I will always be thankful that I had the opportunity to get to know him and I know many of his large circle of friends will be mourning his sad repose."

At least two other knife-related crimes took place over the weekend.

A 22-year-old man is due to appear at Londonderry Magistrates Court today charged with attempted murder and two counts of possession of an offensive weapon.

The charges relate to the stabbing of a 17-year-old boy in the Rainey Street area of Magherafelt during the early hours of Saturday morning.

And a 22-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent after a 30-year-old man sustained a large gash to his face during an incident in the Edlingham Street area of north Belfast during the early hours of Sunday morning.

It is thought that his injuries were caused by the use of a machete.

Detectives at Tennent Street would like any witnesses to get in touch on 0845 600 8000 or if someone would prefer to provide information anonymously they can call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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