Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Clergyman dies in diving accident

The diver was airlifted to Sligo General Hospital where he died
The diver was airlifted to Sligo General Hospital where he died

A Presbyterian clergyman has died while diving off the County Donegal coast.

The Rev Stewart Jones, who was in his 50s, was airlifted to Sligo Hospital yesterday.

He was a minister in Donemana in Co Tyrone and chaplain at Altnagelvin Hospital.

The diving instructor was also an instructor in emergency first response.

Mr Jones was an author and his works included Israel In The Carter Years and British Policy In The Middle East.

He was married to Patricia and leaves three adult daughters.

Ian Scott, from Malin Head Coastguard, said efforts were made to resuscitate him.

"Sadly, despite administering CPR, from when the diver was recovered until his arrival at hospital, the man died," he said.

He had been diving with another man from Derry, who was also airlifted to hospital during the rescue operation.

UUP MLA for Newry and Armagh Danny Kennedy, who went to school with Mr Jones in south Armagh, said: "He was from the Bessbrook area and he was a lovely fella, a very fine fella.

"He was academically gifted and very clever."

The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Dr Michael Barry, said he was saddened and shocked.

He added: "Stewart served his congregations with great enthusiasm and complete dedication."

He extended his sympathies to the bereaved, who include daughters Esther, Rachel and Anna.

"I assure Patricia, the family circle and indeed the congregation of Donemana of the prayerful support of many throughout the Presbyterian Church in the days that lie ahead."

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