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Tributes to Belfast pensioner Patrick McDermott who died after being struck by lorry

By Allan Preston

Tributes have been paid to east Belfast pensioner Patrick McDermott, who died after being hit by a lorry.

The 79-year-old was injured at around 3.30pm on Friday on the Albertbridge Road at its junction with Castlereagh Street, close to Short Strand.

He was taken by ambulance to the Royal Victoria Hospital but died later.

There have been 20 deaths on Northern Ireland's roads this year, slightly down on the 23 at this time last year.

East Belfast Alliance MLA Naomi Long expressed her condolences.

"My thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr McDermott at this sad time," she said.

"The local community will be in shock at this tragedy. Unfortunately, this is an example of how dangerous our roads can be for both pedestrians and drivers.

"I would encourage all road users and motorists to take extreme care at all times, and be vigilant of others.

"If anyone has any information on this incident, I would urge them to contact police immediately."

Speaking on Friday, East Belfast Progressive Unionist Party councillor Dr John Kyle said: "My heart goes out to the poor man and his family."

Police appealed for anyone in the area of the Albertbridge Road at the time who witnessed the collision to contact officers at Strandtown on 101, quoting reference 767 of 19/05/17.

Funeral arrangements for Mr McDermott have yet to be announced.

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