Belfast Telegraph

Man (27) arrested after father-of-two Brian Phelan stabbed to death

Detectives launched a murder investigation yesterday after a father-of-two was killed near Newry.

The victim was named locally as 32-year-old Brian Phelan from Bessbrook.

He died following an incident at Carrivekeeney Road between Newry and Camlough.

Police have released no further details, but it is believed that Mr Phelan suffered knife wounds.

A 27-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the murder.

As police officers and forensic teams examined the scene, a small crowd gathered close to the spot where Mr Phelan's body was found.

One eyewitness told the Belfast Telegraph that there was an outpouring of grief as members of the victim's family arrived.

Last night tributes were pouring in for Mr Phelan, who had two young children, a boy and a girl.

On his sister's Facebook page friends offered sympathy and condolences to his grieving family.

One friend posted: "So sorry to hear this awful and heartbreaking news. I can't take it in.

"He was such a lovely fella who lived for his family and kids.

"Thoughts are with you and family at this time xx"

Another posted: "Sorry for you and your family's loss.

"He's a gentleman and didn't deserve what happened to him at all. RIP Brian."

Local politicians extended their sympathies to Mr Phelan's family.

Sinn Fein councillor Roisin Mulgrew said: "The community will be absolutely shocked.

"Knife crime is not something which is commonplace in our area and this is a time for asking for people to cooperate with the police if they need assistance and also to give the family of the young man time to come to terms with this terrible event."

SDLP MLA Justin McNulty offered his sympathies to the victim's family.

"This is devastating news for any family and I would offer my condolences to them.

"Anyone who can help police should obviously get in touch as soon as possible."

Mr McNulty described the area where police reported the incident as having taken place as quiet and residential. "This has come as a big shock to me, and to the community," added Mr McNulty.

"I would encourage anyone with information to go to police."

Detective Chief Inspector Eamon Corrigan appealed for anyone with any information that could assist detectives with their enquiries to contact them in Newry on 101.

Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Belfast Telegraph

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