Belfast Telegraph

Balcony fall Belfast man Colin McGarry was 'our heart and soul', says partner

Colin McGarry, who died in Benidorm on Sunday, with partner Gail McMillan
Colin McGarry, who died in Benidorm on Sunday, with partner Gail McMillan
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

The partner of a Belfast man who died after falling from a 15th-floor balcony in Spain has spoken of the "utterly shocking" loss.

Colin McGarry (48) was on holiday in Benidorm with friends when he suddenly fell from the balcony at a hotel in the Calle Gerona area around 1.45am on Sunday morning.

Originally from Oldpark in Belfast, he had been living in the Skegoneill area and worked as a scaffolder.

Just hours before his death, he had watched his favourite team Liverpool win the Champions League and texted his long-term partner Gail McMillan in celebration.

She was later informed of the tragedy on Sunday morning.

"Myself and the whole McGarry family are completely devastated by this news," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

"Colin was our heart and soul. For something so tragic to happen to him is utterly shocking. The whole community has come out to show their support to us and it is overwhelming. He was the best fiance, brother and son we could ask for.

"He was our rock and we are left with a space that will never be filled."

Over a hundred friends have added messages of condolence with Ms McMillan on social media, after she shared a picture with her partner with the message: "My love, my life, I can't believe this. You were taken from me before your time. I love you I always have and I always will. Till you hold me in your arms again sleep tight my angel."

One friend commented: "I'm sorry to hear this. In fact I'm shocked to the core, Colin was one of life's good guys. My deepest condolences to you Gail and the whole of the McGarry family."

A spokesperson for the Foreign Office said they have offered assistance to the family and were in contact with the local authorities.

The SDLP councillor for Oldpark, Paul McCusker, previously paid his own tribute to the family.

"Deepest sympathies to the McGarry family from the Oldpark on the tragic death of Colin who died while on holiday in Spain, a big gentleman. My thoughts and prayers are with his heartbroken family at this extremely difficult time."

No funeral details have been announced at this stage and the family are being assisted by the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, which helps families from Ireland who have lost loved ones abroad.

It's understood it may take up to 10 days to bring Mr McGarry home.

"They have been an absolute godsend to us at this horrendous time," Ms McMillan said, adding she would urge any donations to be made to the charity.

Further details can be found at kevinbellrepatriationtrust.com.

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