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Wednesday 29 March 2017

Probes into deaths of two Irish men abroad

From left: Graham (17), Derek (22), Brian (15) and Darren O'Neill
(21) with a picture of their brother Mark (20) who died in an accident in Greece. Photo: Collins
From left: Graham (17), Derek (22), Brian (15) and Darren O'Neill (21) with a picture of their brother Mark (20) who died in an accident in Greece. Photo: Collins

Kathryn Hayes and Shane Hickey

FRENCH police are investigating the death of an Irishman whose body was found in a river.

Paul Hogan (20) was originally from the west Limerick town of Rathkeale but had been living in Ballingarry with his partner and young child.

His body was found in a river about 20 miles outside Paris on Tuesday.

The father of one had been working in Paris with Croom Tarmacadam, a Co Limerick company, before he went missing last weekend.

Detectives in France say they are still investigating how Mr Hogan died.

Concerned family members travelled to the French capital earlier this week in a bid to help locate him.

Communities in Co Limerick were yesterday trying to come to terms with the death.

Mr Hogan was well known in sporting circles, and is survived by his parents Dave and Angela, as well as a number of brothers and sisters.

Members of St Mary's/Sean Finn's GAA Club in Rathkeale, where Mr Hogan was a well known member, were in shock yesterday.

"He had been playing with our club since he was a child. He was a prominent member of the club and would have won various county titles with us," said a club spokesman.

"He was a pleasant lad and a quiet lad who will be sorely missed by everybody involved in the club and we are deeply shocked at his death to be honest."

Meanwhile, it has emerged that an Irishman who died after he was attacked in Greece last week had been due to return home two weeks ago.

The family of Mark O'Neill (20), from Rathfarnham in Dublin, yesterday paid tribute to the young man they described as a "bubbly character".

Mr O'Neill died in hospital on Monday after an incident last week in which he was hit as he walked past a fight on the island of Zakynthos.

He had been due to come home about two weeks ago, but changed his travel plans, and was planning to return later this week.

He was injured after a group of English holidaymakers started fighting in a dispute over a drinks bill, and Mr O'Neill was assaulted by mistake. He died five days later as a result of his injuries.

Greek police last night said he had not been directly involved in the incident, which happened outside the bar in which he worked in the Laganas area.

Details

Mr O'Neill had been working on the island as a barman for the summer. He had been on a night off when the row blew up.

Yesterday his brother Derek said the exact details of what had happened remained unclear.

"As far as I know he was walking past and was hit accidentally. He fell and hit his head," Derek said from the family home.

A police spokesman said: "He was not involved in the fight. One of the people hit him with his fist by mistake and the Irishman fell on the ground."

Six people were arrested -- five English and one Greek man. The Greek man and an English man worked in the bar.

Mr O'Neill's parents, Paul and Jackie, immediately flew out to Greece.

Mr O'Neill came from a large family and is survived by six brothers -- Brian (15), Graham (17), Darren (21), Derek (22), Stephen (25), Paul (26), and his sister Michelle (27).

Irish Independent

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