Police have arrested a seventh person in connection with the death of a Sligo man at a holiday park in London.
Emergency services were called to the Camber Sands holiday park in Lydd Road near the East Sussex border with Romney Marsh at around 10.50pm on Friday following an altercation between a group of people.
Sligo man Michael McDonagh (53) who lived in London with his family was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after midnight.
Six people were swiftly arrested on suspicion of murder by police and all have now been released on conditional bail.
A Sussex Police spokesman revealed that those detained were all between the ages of 18 and 43 and all from the Kent/Sussex region.
As a result of further enquiries, a seventh person arrested on suspicion of murder and also released on conditional bail.
Michael’s family have paid tribute to the father of six:
“On Saturday morning we found out we lost our father. Michael was a loving and supportive husband of 32 years and a father of six, taken from us whilst on a family holiday.
“His family meant everything to him. He came away to make memories with his wife and children and instead we are walking away with broken hearts and unanswered questions.
“It’s impossible to put into words how we all feel. Our dad was the centre of our world and the life and soul of every party.
“Not only did my dad make such a huge impact on our family but also to countless people who knew him throughout his life. He will be greatly missed.
“Michael was a kind-hearted man who died too young, leaving behind all those that loved him.”
Guests at the park, popular with Kent holidaymakers, reported seeing a man tackled to the ground after an argument broke out following the end of Crystal Palace vs Arsenal in the opening match of the Premier League season.
It is believed Michael was an Arsenal supporter.
The argument allegedly happened in The Showbar, the resort’s entertainment site, which was showing the opening Premier League fixture.
Sussex Police and forensics officers were called to the scene. The investigation – codenamed Operation Molton – is ongoing.
Mr McDonagh’s death sparked an outpouring of grief, with friends and family taking to social media to pay tribute.
One family member posted: “Our hearts are broken. You will forever be in our hearts - gone but not forgotten.
“My heart goes out to his lovely wife and children. Please god watch over them.”
Another wrote: “Uncle Michael, you didn’t deserve this. How can the world be so cruel. You will never be forgotten.”
Parkdean, which runs the resort, told people at the site a “serious incident” had taken place and a “live police investigation” was active.
The message, which was sent out to customers, said: “We would like to make you aware that last night a serious incident occurred within our complex area.
“As this is a live police investigation our team is doing everything they can to assist their enquiries. Please be aware they cannot comment on this incident.”
Sussex Police Detective Chief Inspector Emma Vickers said: “My condolences go out to Michael’s family following Friday night’s tragic events.
“A complex and fast-moving investigation is underway to establish precisely what happened and identify those responsible.
“I understand incidents such as these can have a profound impact on the wider community and I would like to offer my assurances that this was an isolated incident and we are working tirelessly to find out the full circumstances.”
Michael has many relations in Sligo though it is believed it is some months since his last visit home here.
In 2000, the Criminal Assets Bureau successfully seized his home near Ballintogher, Sligo after proving before the courts that it was bought from the proceeds of crime.
Mr McDonagh left Ireland soon after that and when he did return he stayed in local hotels with his family.
He was also a target of the National Crime Agency in Britain.
He was arrested in Amsterdam, Holland in November 2010 and extradited back to the UK on foot of an international warrant for his arrest.
He was subsequently jailed for seven years for drug trafficking.