The death of a 32-year-old man who was attacked in Portaferry earlier this month has left people in the town “stunned”, a local councillor has said.
Ryan Macrae passed away in hospital on Tuesday night – nine days after he was assaulted in the Church Street area of the Co Down town.
His death is being treated as murder.
Two men aged 19 and 28, who were initially charged with GBH with intent, have since been re-arrested on suspicion of murder.
Ards Peninsula councillor Joe Boyle, who runs a fast food outlet in Portaferry, knew Ryan as a customer for a number of years and described the 32-year-old’s death as “tragic”.
“I know there was an incident, but I don’t know what it was about or how it started,” the SDLP man told the News Letter.
“Ryan was taken to hospital after the incident, the Ulster initially, and was later transferred to the Royal (Victoria Hospital).
“For the past 10 days we had been hoping that he would have made some form of recovery, but sadly his injuries were too severe.
“This has stunned the people of Portaferry and has cast a dark cloud over the local community.
“I would like to express the heartfelt sympathy of the local community to Ryan’s family, who will obviously be devastated by this tragic event.”
Rowallane DUP councillor William Walker said Ryan was originally from the Killyleagh area.
“From speaking to people in the area and from what I have seen on social media he was a well-liked young man and his family is well respected. People’s hearts are broken by what has happened,” he said.
“My heartfelt sympathy goes to the young man’s family circle at this sad time.”
According to the PSNI, Ryan sustained serious injuries during an attack in the Church Street area of Portaferry, shortly before 1am on Sunday, October 14.
He was being treated in hospital, but sadly succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday night.
“Two men aged 19 and 28 were charged with GBH with intent following the incident in Portaferry on Sunday 14 October and subsequently appeared in Downpatrick Magistrates Court on Monday 15 October. They have both now been re-arrested on suspicion of murder,” police confirmed.
Detectives from the PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch have appealed for anyone who witnessed the incident or attempted to assist Ryan after the attack to contact detectives at Musgrave on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 84 14/10/2018.