| 13.3°C Belfast

Tributes paid as man loses life in swimming tragedy off Co Antrim coast

Close

Hugh Barry who lost his life while swimming on Cushendall beach on Saturday afternoon.

Hugh Barry who lost his life while swimming on Cushendall beach on Saturday afternoon.

Hugh Barry who lost his life while swimming on Cushendall beach on Saturday afternoon.

A man who died after getting into difficulties swimming in the sea off the Co Antrim coast has been named as Hugh Barry.

Emergency services were called to the beach at Cushendall at around 6pm on Saturday after Mr Barry, a keen cyclist who is understood to have been in his 60s, got into difficulties.

A post shared on the Glens Cycling Club Facebook page read: “This is one of the most difficult posts I’ve had to write.

“Yesterday we lost a valued club member, gentleman, legend and friend.

“Hugh Barry loved Glens CC and his love of cycling was infectious and inspirational to all that knew him.

“All members of Glens CC are in shock and are absolutely devastated and for Eillis, his wife and esteemed club member, please know we are here for you.

“There are no funeral arrangements for Hugh yet but when I find out I’ll let you know.

Close

A full scale emergency was declared at Cushendall after a swimmer got into diffiuclty on the beach.  PICTURE KEVIN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA

A full scale emergency was declared at Cushendall after a swimmer got into diffiuclty on the beach. PICTURE KEVIN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA

A full scale emergency was declared at Cushendall after a swimmer got into diffiuclty on the beach. PICTURE KEVIN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA

“Due to Covid restrictions and red tape as a club I’m not sure what we are able to do, but rest assured we will do something to honour Hugh and his contribution to our Club.

“We send all our thoughts and prayers to Eilis and family. May he RIP.”

SDLP councillor Margaret Anne McKillop said that Mr Barry’s death had shocked the local community. I want to pay tribute to the Fire and Rescue Service, the Coastguard and the Ambulance Service who all worked quickly to try to save the man’s life,” she added.

“This is terrible news. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this incredibly difficult time.”

A PSNI spokesperson said: “On Saturday, July 4, police received a report of a man who had taken unwell at a beach in Cushendall.

“He was taken to hospital by NIAS where he was pronounced dead. “The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said it received a 999 call at 6.14pm after reports of an incident at Shore Road in Cushendall.

Two emergency crews were sent to the scene, supported by the coastguard and fire service.”

Belfast Telegraph