Belfast Telegraph

Safety chiefs launch probe following tragic death of Kevin McGeough at Warrenpoint Port

A man has died following an incident at Warrenpoint Harbour.
Picture Newraypics.com
A man has died following an incident at Warrenpoint Harbour. Picture Newraypics.com
Port chief executive Clare Guinness
Local councillor Jarlath Tinnelly

By David Young

A probe has been launched into the death of a man at a harbour in Co Down yesterday.

The victim was named locally as Kevin McGeough, from Rostrevor, who was in his 50s.

Emergency services attended the scene at Warrenpoint Port at around 2.30pm.

The exact circumstances of the man's death are not yet known but it is believed he was crushed by a piece of machinery.

Mr McGeough was married with three adult children and came from a well-known family in the south Down area.

Warrenpoint Port chief executive Clare Guinness said: "Following an incident earlier this afternoon, we can confirm the death of a colleague at Warrenpoint Port.

"On behalf of everyone at Warrenpoint Port, we wish to convey our deepest sympathies to the family.

"The PSNI and Health and Safety Executive were immediately informed of the incident and we are co-operating with them and all relevant authorities to enable a full investigation to take place."

Local councillor Jarlath Tinnelly, who lives in Rostrevor, said Mr McGeough's death was "an awful tragedy".

"Kevin was a highly regarded, hardworking man from a well-respected family," Mr Tinnelly said.

"I want to send my sympathy and condolences to his wife Patricia, sons Kevin and John, and his daughter Gerardine, who will be traumatised by this dreadful news. It's an awful tragedy."

SDLP councillor and former MLA Karen McKevitt said: "The whole of Warrenpoint and Rostrevor will be shocked by what has happened.

"A man went to his work this morning and will not be coming home. It's so, so sad."

She said the close-knit local community would "wrap its arms" around Mr McGeough's devastated family in their time of grief.

Independent councillor Mark Gibbons said it was devastating news for the family and the local community.

"He was an absolute gentleman" he said. "It's dreadful, devastating for his family. He was a good family man. I want to send my sympathy and condolences to his family, and assure them that they will have my support and the support of the whole community at this difficult time."

DUP councillor Glyn Hanna, who is a board member of Warrenpoint Port, said: "It's a tragedy. Horrendous. Rostrevor will be a sad village tonight."

It is understood yesterday's fatality was the first death to have happened at the busy port.

A Northern Ireland Ambulance Service spokesman said it had received a 999 call at 2.32pm yesterday relating to an incident at Warrenpoint. One emergency crew was dispatched to the scene.

"Following assessment and initial treatment at the scene, no-one was transferred to hospital," the spokesman said.

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Health and Safety Executive said: "HSENI is aware of the incident at Warrenpoint Harbour this afternoon, and are making enquiries."

Police also attended the scene of the tragedy.

Warrenpoint Harbour is Northern Ireland's second largest port. In 2018 it handled 3.6million tonnes of cargo last year, and had a turnover of £6.1m.

It employs around 70 people, with approximately 200 more working in the harbour estate.

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