Man’s death sparks Ombudsman probe

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An investigation is under way into the circumstances surrounding the recent death of a Banbridge man detained by police in Newry.

The Police Ombudsman’s office confirmed it was investigating following the death of 27-year-old Larchwood Court man Mark Neeson.

Father-of-one Mr Neeson reportedly fell ill while being transported in a police vehicle early on Monday December 14; he later died in hospital.

Police said they responded to a reported incident at Newry’s Cleary Crescent on the date in question.

“Officers attended and located a 27-year-old male in the Bridge Street area,” a spokesperson said. “The male was transported to hospital and later died.

“The matter has been referred to the Police Ombudsman’s office, which is now investigating the circumstances of the death, and it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further.”

The Police Ombudsman’s office, meanwhile, has appealed for any witnesses to the incident to contact them.

A spokesman said: “the Police Ombudsman’s office is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 27-year-old man in Newry on Monday, December 14.

“Mark Neeson, who was from Banbridge, died after being taken to hospital by police. Officers had found him in the Bridge Street area while responding to a report of an incident in Cleary Crescent.

“Police Ombudsman investigators have obtained statements from the police officers who dealt with Mr Neeson and are reviewing all relevant police documentation as well as CCTV footage.

“They have also issued an appeal for anyone who may have seen what happened to contact them on Freephone 0800 032 7880.”

Father of Olivia, Mr Neeson, himself son of Bernadette and the late Brian, was one of 11 siblings; he was brother to Brian, Stephen, Christopher, Sean, Gavin, Marie Louise, Philip, Seamus, Claire and Connor. He was buried at Belfast’s City Cemetery after a funeral mass at St Therese’s Church, Banbridge.