Cousin's tribute as man (25) found dead in city centre after night out
A man found dead in Londonderry "could bring a smile to anybody's face just by a look or a word", his cousin has said.
A large part of the city centre was sealed off yesterday as police investigations into the death of 25-year-old Conall Kerrigan from Glack, south of Ballykelly, continued.
The area around Bank Place at the bottom of Shipquay Street and around the Millennium Forum was closed as forensics teams searched for clues.
Mr Kerrigan's family made an appeal for information over his whereabouts after he failed to return home as planned from a night out on Saturday.
His body was found the following night in the area of Bank Place at around 10.20pm, not far from where the last sighting of him was reported.
The dead man's cousin, Aaron Kerrigan, said he looked upon Conall as a brother.
"If you look at his photos, in every single one of them he's smiling," he added.
"That's what he epitomised. He could bring a smile to anybody's face just by a look or a word. He was somebody I looked up to. It's just really difficult."
There has been widespread shock in the small communities of Glack and Claudy following the death.
Conall, who was best man at his brother's wedding just three weeks ago, was a popular member of John Mitchel's GAA Club.
He had been living in England but returned home several months ago to set up his own plumbing business.
It is believed that he had been enjoying a night out in the city with his club team-mates when he went missing.
As a mark of respect, the club has cancelled all training and football matches for the remainder of the week.
John Mitchel's said in a statement that they had learned of the death "with a very heavy heart".
"Conall was a huge character, full of craic and a good friend to his peers," they said. "His passing hurts us all.
"There are just no words that will make sense of this, and everybody is struggling to come to terms with it.
"Our prayers and love go out to Conall, to his immediate and wider families, and to all of his friends."
Sinn Fein Councillor Paul Fleming expressed his condolences and said his prayers were with the bereaved family.
He added: "The entire community is in shock on hearing the terrible sad news.
"I wish to extend my sympathy and condolences to his family and friends at this time"
Police are treating the death as unexplained. It is believed Mr Kerrigan was in the Metro Bar on Saturday night, before leaving around 2am on Sunday.
Detective inspector Conor McStravick appealed for anyone with any information to come forward.
He asked anyone who witnessed any form of altercation on the walls close to Millennium Forum during the early hours of Sunday morning to contact detectives at Strand Road Police Station on the non-emergency number 101.