Tuesday 25 July 2017

'A very sad day on a weekend of celebration' - Man who died at Body & Soul festival named

Body and Soul takes place in Westmeath
Body and Soul takes place in Westmeath

Gavin White

The death of a young man at the Body & Soul festival has been described as "a very sad day on a weekend of celebration".

The 31-year-old, named locally as Andrew Duggan from Mullingar, is believed to have collapsed at around 3pm on Saturday as around 15,000 people attended the festival at Ballinlough Castle in Co Westmeath

Gardai are investigating but said they were treating the death as not suspicious.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene and was removed to Mullingar Hospital, where a post-mortem was due to be carried out.

The three-day festival saw a range of music acts and comedians take to the stage.

It also catered for a number of well-being practices, including yoga and mindfulness.

Reverend Sean Garland said the death was "a terrible tragedy".

"I heard it on the news and I immediately thought of the poor parents. No one should go in such a sad manner," he said.

Local Fianna Fail councillor Paddy Hill said the death had "put a cloud over the weekend" for people at the festival.

He said it was "a very sad day on a weekend of celebration" and his thoughts and prayers were with the dead man's family.

Festival director Avril Stanley said the organisers were "devastated" by the news.

"We can confirm that An Garda Siochana at Delvin Garda Station are investigating a non-suspicious sudden death," she said in a statement.

Condolences

"The male was taken to the medical tent by medical staff and tended to at the time by advanced paramedics and a consultant doctor in emergency medicine.

"We wish to extend our deepest condolences to the family at this time.

"We will continue to work closely with the gardai on their investigation in this matter.

"The team at Body & Soul are absolutely devastated by the news today."

This is the first time there has been a death at the festival, which has been running for eight years.

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