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Saturday 21 September 2019

Death of man (25) on Christmas morning from head injuries being treated as 'freak accident'

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Stock photo

Tom Shiel and Ian Begley

A young man died tragically in the early hours of Christmas morning after being found lying on the ground by his neighbour.

The deceased, named locally as Christopher McNally, was found in an unresponsive state at about 1.30am in Newport, Co Mayo.

He was found outside his apartment suffering from head injuries.

The 25-year-old's death has caused widespread shock and grief within his community.

Gardaí have said that they are keeping an open mind on the circumstances around his death.

However, at this stage they are treating the incident as a "tragic accident".

One line of inquiry is that Mr McNally lost his footing and sustained critical head injuries when he fell.

Following the incident, Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis travelled to the scene and a post-mortem examination was due to be carried out at Mayo University Hospital.

The pathologist's findings will determine whether the death was accidental or if a criminal investigation is warranted.

"The family have been informed of this tragedy and it will probably be a day or two before we can establish what exactly happened," a source said.

"At the moment it seems like this was just some freak accident. He may have fallen, but it wasn't from any height.

"It's an extremely sad occurrence, which is all the more upsetting that it happened on Christmas Day."

A local representative, who did not want to be named, described the incident as "nothing but a tragedy".

"For something like this to happen on Christmas Day is beyond cruel," they said.

"The community in Newport are extremely distraught over this young man's sudden death.

"However, I'm sure they will rally around the family and give them the support they deserve during these hard times.

"Although I didn't know him personally, I understand he was very well respected and loved by many."

Irish Independent

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