Armagh community in mourning after sudden death of 25-year-old in US

Philip Hagan pictured in 2011 being awarded the Chief Scout diamond award
Philip Hagan pictured in 2011 being awarded the Chief Scout diamond award

A close-knit community in Co Armagh is in mourning after the sudden death of a Church of Ireland rector’s son in the United States.

Philip Hagan from Tynan, son of Rev Matthew Hagan, is understood to have been discovered by emergency services at his Philadelphia apartment on Saturday after he failed to turn up for work on Friday.

The former Royal School Dungannon pupil had been working in the US for around two years.

Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson is a member of Aghavilly Parish Church where the Rev Hagan is rector.

Mr Nicholson described the death of Philip Hagan as “tragic”.

He said: “The Hagan family are highly respected in the Tynan, Middletown and Aghavilly area of south Armagh and my sympathy goes out to them on the death of young Philip.

“Family bereavement coming up to Christmas is not an easy burden to bear and our prayers and thoughts are with the Hagans at this time.”

Mr Nicholson’s expression of sympathy was endorsed by his son Sam, the deputy mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

Rev Hagan is the Church of Ireland chaplain to the Northern Ireland Hospice.

Former UUP MLA Danny Kennedy also knows the Hagan family well and said they are “really involved in both the church and the community”.

Mr Kennedy said: “They are well-loved within the area. These are very sad circumstances and this is a very severe blow to the family.”

It is understood a post mortem examination will be held to establish the exact cause of death.