'A devastating shock to see this young man’s face' - Tributes paid to dad killed in city centre altercation
Police have launched a murder investigation after the death of a young father in Belfast city centre.
Dad-of-two Paul McCready from north Belfast passed away in hospital in the early hours of yesterday morning.
It is understood he had been injured in an altercation near the Northern Whig pub in the Cathedral Quarter.
A 30-year-old man was arrested at the scene and was still in custody last night.
According to a source, it is believed a verbal row broke out and ended up on Donegall Street, where it is understood the 31-year-old hit his head on the pavement.
Someone who knew the victim, but asked not to be named, said Mr McCready, from the Cliftonville Road area, was “a lovely guy from a nice family”, adding that he was not the sort of person to get caught up in arguments.
The incident happened at around 12.50am and Mr McCready was taken to hospital in an ambulance, but he later died later from his injuries.
Detective Chief Inspector Geoffrey Boyce, who is leading the investigation, appealed for people to come forward.
He said: “We know that a large number of people were in the vicinity of the Donegall Street/Waring Street junction at around the time the altercation took place. I would appeal to those people who have not yet got in touch with the investigation team to please do so.
“We are keen to gather as much information as possible about the circumstances and events that occurred here early this morning.”
SDLP councillor Paul McCusker said Mr McCready’s death had “shocked the north Belfast community”.
Mr McCusker said: “This popular man was well known by the community and speaking to those who knew him, they are heartbroken. My thoughts and prayers are with this man’s family at this difficult time.”
Sinn Fein MLA Caral Ni Chuilin said: “The death of a 31-year-old man following an altercation close to Donegall Street in Belfast city centre has shocked local people. My thoughts and sympathies are with the family of this man at this time.
“I would appeal for anyone with information to come forward and contact the police.”
People who knew Mr McCready took to social media to express their shock.
One woman said: “What a devastating shock to see this young man’s face today, my heart goes out to Paul’s beautiful young family and amazing partner.”
A friend wrote: “RIP Paul, absolute gentleman. Thinking of your family buddy.”
Another tribute stated: “So sad, such a lovely fella.”
A friend said he was “in total shock”, adding: “Paul was one of the nicest fellas you could meet. Taken too young.”