Man killed in south Down collision was father-of-four

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The man who died in a single road traffic collision near Kilkeel has been named locally as Patrick Cunningham.

The father-of-four from Kilkeel, was killed in a collision on the Killowen Road between Kilkeel and Rostrevor shortly before 6.30am.

Mr Cunningham was in his 30s and was father to two sets of twins.

Sinn Fein Councillor for Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Sean Doran told of his shock and sadness at the tragedy.

“They were going to work this morning in Portadown. They worked for Thompson Solutions.

“There were three in the car and Paddy’s brother was seriously injured as well.

“He had been a plasterer but then started this other job.”

Mr Doran added: “I have known Paddy who always had a smile on his face, since he was a young fella when he played on a local football team and then later he worked with me on building sites.

“For him to be killed on his way to work to support his young family is so, so sad , and I’m sure everyone will keep his wife and family in their hearts and prayers during this awful time.

“I just want to give my sympathy for the young fella and his wife and children. It is terrible.”

Earlier Inspector Lynne Corbett appealed for anyone who was travelling on the Killowen Road this morning and who witnessed the collision to contact Police in Newry or the Collision Investigation Unit on the non-emergency number 101.

Tributes poured in for Mr Cunningham on Facebook.

One said: “Its the first time i have to say good bye to a friend. I’ll miss you big time. RIP Patrick Cunningham life is so unfair!!!”

Another man added: “Woke this morning to discover a really good work mate and friend has tragically died in car crash frown emoticon im in total shock cant express the kind of guy he was always smiling and up for the craic you will b sadly missed mate frown emoticon RIP Patrick Cunningham my thoughts are with his family, friends and children X”

SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie also told of her sadness after the latest road death.

“I convey my deepest sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family at this tragic time,” she said.

“I know that the local community in Killowen and the Mournes area will stand shoulder to shoulder with the family of the man who lost his life, and will wrap them in a warm embrace at this time of sadness and sorrow. Death is always a difficult phenomenon, but it is more challenging for the family, friends and relatives of the bereaved when it is sudden, untimely and the result of an accident.”

DUP MLA Jim Wells also extended his “sincere sympathy” to Mr Cunningham’s family.

“This is very sad and I can guarantee that the vast of majority of people in Kilkeel will know someone in that car,” he added.

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