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Mum wins right to hold a wake for son killed on holiday

By Alan Erwin and Rebecca Black

Published 01/03/2016

Jim Campbell
Jim Campbell

The mother of a Co Down man killed in the Canary Islands has secured a High Court order to have his body released to her for a separate wake.

A judge granted Eileen Campbell's request for the remains of her son Jim to be temporarily transferred to her west Belfast home.

Mr Campbell died after being struck by two cars within hours of arriving in Fuerteventura for a holiday on February 17.

Following post-mortem examinations the 40-year-old's body was repatriated to the home of his father Joe in Downpatrick at the weekend.

The remains have been kept there for a wake ahead of a planned funeral and burial today.

In an unusual move, the dead man's mother sought a court injunction to have the body brought to her house for a period.

The application was based on her own health and mobility issues, according to lawyers in the case.

A judge who sat on Saturday and again yesterday to hear the case has directed Joe Campbell to arrange for funeral directors to take his son's body to Mrs Campbell.

Mr Justice O'Hara ordered that the remains are to stay in Belfast overnight so she can hold her own wake and pay final respects.

The body is then to be returned in time for the funeral service at Downpatrick Cathedral today.

Solicitor Ciaran Mulholland, who represents Joe Campbell, said: "There is no doubt that this is a very unfortunate and tragic case for all involved, particularly the relatives of the deceased.

"We would ask that the privacy of all parties is respected, given this highly emotional affair in such horrific circumstances. We feel that the dignity of the deceased and his family should remain paramount."

Showing their gratitude to the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, in a death notice the family had asked that donations be made to the charity in lieu of flowers to help other grieving relatives bring their loved ones home in the event they die suddenly while abroad.

The Island Connections newspaper reported that Mr Campbell died after being hit on the northbound side of the FV2 road, 500 metres from the airport.

It is believed Mr Campbell, who had been drinking, was walking along the side of the unlit stretch of road in dark clothing when he was struck by a vehicle. It stopped and the driver called emergency services, however Mr Campbell was subsequently struck by a second car, which failed to stop but was later located.

The newspaper reported that the second driver gave himself up to police and had since tested positive for drugs.

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