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No foul play suspected in death at Belfast McDonalds

By Chris McCullough

Published 13/02/2016

McDonald’s at Donegall Place in Belfast city centre where the assault took place
McDonald’s at Donegall Place in Belfast city centre where the assault took place

A man has been found dead in the toilets of a McDonald's restaurant in Belfast city centre.

The circumstances surrounding the death in the early hours of Friday morning remain unclear, and a post-mortem is set to be carried out.

Belfast councillor Jim Rodgers said the news was very concerning. "This is a real tragedy," he said.

"Although the details surrounding the death are unclear at the moment, my thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased.

"I want to urge any members of the public who were in the McDonald's restaurant at the time, or who know the deceased, to please assist the police in any way they can."

Police cordoned off the restaurant on Donegall Place for a few hours to investigate the death. It was reopened again for business on Friday morning.

A spokesman for the PSNI said: "Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a man whose body was discovered in a business premises in Donegall Place on the evening of Thursday, February 11.

"A post-mortem examination will be conducted to determine the cause of death, which is not being treated as suspicious at this time."

McDonald's also issued a statement which said: "We can confirm that there is an ongoing police investigation following a fatality at our Donegall Place restaurant in the early hours of this morning.

"The PSNI are investigating. Due to the sensitivities and out of respect for the individual's family and friends, we will not be making any further comment.

"We are offering support to the staff who were working at the time, and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the individual involved."

It is not the first tragedy to take place in a McDonald's restaurant in Belfast.

In 1998, Ciara McGinley (22) from Strabane, Co Tyrone, collapsed and died after touching live wires on a hand dryer in the toilets of their former restaurant at Bradbury Place.

Diamond Restaurants Ltd, trading as McDonald's, later pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the safety of its staff and customers.

Miss McGinley, a languages student at Queen's University in Belfast, had been out celebrating the end of her final exams in June 1998 when the incident occurred.

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