Belfast Telegraph

OAPs 'killed by mobile home fumes'

A retired couple have been found dead from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning at a caravan park in Northern Ireland.

Francie and Nan O'Reilly, in their mid-70s, had been living in a mobile home at Bonnys Caravan Park in Newcastle, Co Down, for more than a decade.

Health and safety officials are investigating after police discovered their bodies at around 3pm today.

Sinn Fein councillor Willie Clarke said: "They made a lovely snug home. They were very nice and very helpful, would have helped anyone, but they were quiet and unassuming.

"It is a big shock."

Mr O'Reilly was a former gardener and t he couple were originally from the Mourne area, south of Newcastle.

The town is a popular holiday destination on the Irish Sea which attracts families from around Northern Ireland for its typical seaside resort attractions.

Bonnys is a sprawling series of caravans, mobile homes and amenity buildings which nestles against the lower slopes of the scenic Mourne Mountains on the Tullybrannigan Road. It has been open for decades and some caravans in a residential part of the site are occupied throughout the year.

South Down SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie said: "I'm shocked and deeply saddened by this awful discovery.

"I understand that police are treating it as suspected carbon monoxide poisoning at this stage."

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Inspector David McClements said: "Police attended a caravan site on Tullybrannigan Road in Newcastle at around 3pm on Wednesday 21st January.

"Two bodies were discovered at a caravan on the site and a multi-agency investigation is now under way into the cause of the deaths."

Two teenagers were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in Northern Ireland in August 2010.

Neil McFerran and Aaron Davidson died after a gas leak in a holiday apartment in Castlerock, County Londonderry.

The 18-year-olds had been staying at the apartment near Coleraine with a third friend, Matthew Gaw, who survived. The three men were found by relatives.

The law surrounding carbon monoxide alarms was tightened as a result and the warning devices are a legal requirement in all new homes.

A spokesman from the Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI) said: "HSENI is looking into the circumstances of a fatal incident at a caravan park in the Newcastle area."

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