Shock as sports centre tragedy victim named

The Orchard Leisure Centre.
The Orchard Leisure Centre.

Shock and sorrow have been voiced following an incident at a sports centre which led to a young man’s death.

Christopher Rogers died after the tragedy struck at around 9.30pm on Friday at Orchard Leisure Centre in Armagh city.

A former member of Armagh City Swimming Club, he was understood to have been aged in his early 20s.

Paramedics attempted to recusitate him at the scene.

He was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital by ambulance, but did not survive.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council issued a statement following theincident, saying that he had died in the early hours of Saturday morning, adding that staff are “deeply saddened” following the “devastating news”.

The precise cause of his death was unclear last night.

However, the PSNI is not treating the death as suspicious.

The council also said at the weekend that the centre will be closed until further notice.

Mr Rogers’ funeral is set to be held in the church of St Patrick, Ballymacnab, at 11am on Wednesday. He will be buried in the graveyard there.

DUP MLA for the area William Irwin MLA said that the incident itself unfolded at the centre’s swimming pool.

“This is such an awful ordeal for any family to have to endure and I want to pass on my deepest sympathies and prayers to the family at this very difficult time,” he said.

“What obviously began as some leisure time for this young swimming enthusiast has ended so very tragically.”

Mealla Campbell, an SDLP councillor for Armagh city who formerly worked as a lifeguard at the centre, said she was “shocked and heartbroken” to hear of the news.

She offered her sympathies to the family, adding: “I know how traumatic it will have been for the staff who were the first responders and I will be thinking of them also.”