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Sunday 21 September 2014

Gardai and PSNI investigate death of student after attack

Published 01/01/2013 | 05:00

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INVESTIGATIONS are under way on both sides of the border into the death of a college student who was allegedly attacked during a night out.

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Both gardai and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) are treating the death of 19-year-old Jason McGovern of Tydavnet, Co Monaghan, as suspicious.

He was assaulted after going to a nightclub in Omagh, Co Tyrone, on Sunday night and was found dead at approximately 12.30pm at his friend's flat in Emyvale, Co Monaghan.

It is understood that Mr McGovern, a student at Sligo Institute of Technology, and his friend were on their way back to a minibus to take them home following a night out in Omagh when he was attacked.

The PSNI confirmed that Mr McGovern was the victim of an assault beside a nightclub in the Kevlin Road of Omagh at about 2am. He is suspected to have died of head injuries.

Mr McGovern continued home after the attack, however it's understood that he was complaining of headaches before he went to bed.

"The PSNI and An Garda Siochana are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of this man and a post-mortem examination will be conducted to establish a cause of death," the PSNI said last night.

However, a spokesman from the Garda Press Office confirmed they are treating the death as suspicious and may upgrade the charges depending on the outcome of a post-mortem taking place today at Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Navan.

The PSNI said they are looking for a man of stocky build with ginger or blonde hair in connection with the assault.

They are also appealing for anyone who witnessed the alleged assault to contact them.

Shock

Meanwhile, the small rural communities of Emyvale and Tydavnet, where Mr McGovern lived with his family, were in shock following the young man's sudden death.

Local priest Fr Macartan McQuaid described Mr McGovern as "the salt of the earth" and "a very gracious young man".

"He was a very fine man who brought his granny to Mass every Saturday night and of all people he was the most unlikely to be involved in any kind of violence," he told the Irish Independent.

"He was the last person you would expect to die in any such way. The local community is numbed by the tragedy. It's absolute shock and disbelief and great grief for the family."

Local councillor Brian McKenna said Mr McGovern came from a very respectable family. He lived with his mother Kathleen, his father Seamus and his two older brothers Jonathan and Niall.

"He was a very quiet and ordinary young fellow. I am just shocked," he said.

Irish Independent

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