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Police probe suspected hit-and-run after man's body discovered in road

By Angela Rainey

Published 14/06/2016

Police seal off a lane off Shillinghill Road near Markethill in south Armagh following the discovery of a man’s body yesterday
Police seal off a lane off Shillinghill Road near Markethill in south Armagh following the discovery of a man’s body yesterday

A close-knit community in Co Armagh is in shock after a man's body was found on a quiet rural road in Markethill after a suspected hit-and-run incident.

The man, named locally as David James Shields, is believed to be a family man in his early 50s and from the area.

Police conducted a search of the Shillinghill Road area where his body was found on a grass verge yesterday by a young woman at around 7am.

Political representatives in the area say the road which connects to the busier Mowhan Road is not far from a farmer's mart but is not one that is well-used.

An investigation has now begun into Mr Shield's death which police are describing as a "sudden death".

Detective Inspector Colin Patterson said: "A man's body was found lying in the road shortly before 7am. We are currently working to establish the circumstances surrounding the death, however, at this stage we believe this may have been as a result of a hit-and-run road traffic accident.

"I would particularly like to speak to anyone who can help us with our enquiries. I would appeal to them to contact police on the non-emergency number 101."

The area was cordoned off for several hours to allow officers to carry out a search and initial inquiries.

Ulster Unionist for Newry and Armagh Danny Kennedy said he was "very concerned" to hear the news, describing it as "a tragic loss for some family" and added that the community was shocked to hear the sad news.

"This is a very quiet, rural area and the news of the discovery has shocked the local community," he said.

"I offer my sincere sympathy to the family and friends of the individual, who is well-known in the area, at this difficult time.

"I would appeal to anyone with any information which could assist the PSNI in their enquiries into this incident to bring that forward immediately."

His views were echoed by DUP counterpart for Newry and Armagh MLA William Irwin who also expressed his concern at the discovery.

"I am shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Mr Shields and my thoughts and prayers are with his family circle at this difficult time," he said.

"I have been liaising closely with police and I understand that Mr Shield's passing is the subject of an investigation in order to establish the exact causes and circumstances of his death."

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