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Shock as inspector dies at Ballymoney PSNI station

By Deborah McAleese

Published 20/04/2016

Ballymoney PSNI station, where the tragedy took place
Ballymoney PSNI station, where the tragedy took place

PSNI officers have been left in shock following the death of a colleague in an apparent suicide at a police station.

Inspector Peter Magowan, a 55-year-old father-of-two, died in an incident at Ballymoney PSNI station on Monday. His colleagues were informed of the circumstances surrounding his death yesterday morning.

Inspector Magowan was a member of Coleraine PSNI's response team, covering the north coast area.

Superintendent Tony Callaghan said that Inspector Magowan's death was not being treated as suspicious. The Police Ombudsman's Office has been informed about the tragic incident.

Northern Ireland's Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, described Inspector Magowan as "a valued and respected colleague".

"Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time," a spokesman added.

North Antrim DUP member Mervyn Storey said the local area has been left in shock by the inspector's death.

"As someone who lives in Ballymoney, there is real shock in the town that a police officer has been found dead in the local station.

"My team actually had a meeting in the station yesterday to deal with some local issues. While I didn't know the officer personally, I knew of him. My prayers are with his family and the wider police family in Ballymoney," he said.

North Antrim MP Ian Paisley described the death as a "very sad occurrence".

One of Inspector Magowan's colleagues said: "Everyone is extremely shocked. It's very tragic. I don't know what was behind the incident but police officers are under a lot of pressure."

Policing Board member David McIlveen said: "So sorry to hear of the death of a police officer in Ballymoney. Thoughts and prayers are with the officer's family at this time."

The PSNI flag was lowered at Ballymoney station yesterday.

If you are having a crisis, contact Samaritans on 116 123 or Lifeline on 0808 808 8000.

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