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Death of rally ace dad Glenn Allen 'not suspicious', say police investigating the tragedy

By Cate McCurry and Nevin Farrell

Published 23/11/2015

Cookstown’s Glenn Allen (front) with co-driver Damien Connolly
Cookstown’s Glenn Allen (front) with co-driver Damien Connolly
Glenn Allen during the Dogleap Rally
Police at the scene on Dunluce Road, Portrush

The death of rally star Glenn Allen is not being treated as suspicious, police have said.

Mr Allen's body was found on Dunluce Road leading in to Portrush at 9am on Sunday, sparking a police investigation.

Chief Inspector Mark McClarence said after a post-mortem: “A crime is not suspected".

“Specially trained officers have been with Mr Allen’s family at this difficult time. Police will continue to investigate on behalf of the coroner, as is standard procedure.

“Therefore, we are keen speak to anyone who may have seen a man walking in the Dunluce Road area of Portrush at around 1.40am on Sunday. Please call Coleraine police on the non-emergency number 101 if you can assist."

The Cookstown man was well-known in local rallying circles.

His grieving son has paid an emotional tribute to the father he idolised after a night of fun at a wedding turned to tragedy.

23-year-old Philip Allen told the Belfast Telegraph: "I love him to bits and he's been my mentor all through my life. He pushed me on through loads of ups and downs.

"I'm going to miss him. He gave me good advice all through my life; only for him I would have very little to do. I'd idolised my dad growing up and he was a great inspiration.

"I was at the wedding and watched him walk out and thought he was getting a taxi. You just don't expect it, he was perfectly healthy, he enjoyed the craic and was the life and soul of the party.

"You couldn't ask for any better than my dad, everyone knew him and he didn't have any enemies, everyone loved him.

"If I do half as well as he did, I'll be very happy.

"We were standing at the bar and he made fun of us drinking and I was making fun of him and that was that."

Ulster Unionist councillor Trevor Wilson said: "Glenn ran a very successful bodywork business just outside Cookstown.

"He was very well known in the Cookstown community; it's a terrible tragedy and thoughts and prayers are with all his family at this particular time.

"I met him on many occasions, he was very hard-working and was always so helpful.

"If your car had broken down or you were in an accident, he would have been the first to pull you out.

"He was a very successful rally driver and he was heavily involved in it. If he damaged the car he was able to repair it himself.

"The people of Cookstown will be very shocked at his death."

Irish Rallying posted a tribute on its Facebook page, stating: "Very sad to hear of the passing of Glenn Allen. Glenn was no stranger to the forestry stages and was always a hard man to beat. Condolences to the family and friends of Glenn. R.I.P."

Alan McGeenhan said: "I cannot believe I am putting this up, but a very good and close friend has been taken away from us. Glenn Allen, the world will not be the same without you boss."

Michael Staunton posted on Twitter: "Sad day for Irish Rallying with the passing of Glenn Allen. Thoughts and prayers with his family."

Mr Allen had spent the evening at the Royal Court Hotel on the outskirts of Portrush.

It is understood he left to walk the two miles into the centre of the town where he was believed to have been staying at a holiday home.

Last night, hotel staff and customers were stunned. Hotel owner Jennifer O'Kane said: "We would like to pass on our condolences following this awful tragedy. Everybody is shocked at what has happened."

Another customer said he knew Mr Allen and added: "Glenn was down here for the wedding last night. It is a terrible tragedy. Glenn was some craic, he was the best of a fella."

The Dunluce Road, which runs past Royal Portrush golf course, was sealed off for several hours on Sunday. Near the cordon, Meta Edgar, from the Skerries Holiday Park, said: "Everybody is shocked that this has happened, especially with Christmas approaching; there will be a sad home."

At nearby Rathmore Golf Club Irene Dickson said: "It is shocking that this has happened."

Belfast Telegraph

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