Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Tributes paid to Bessbrook pensioner

Tributes have been paid to the Bessbrook pensioner whose body was discovered next to the Mill Pond in the village early on Wednesday morning.

PJ Mullan was a well-known and a popular resident and his death caused shock and sadness within the close-knit community.

SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley said the news created “a dark cloud over the village” while Councillor Kate Loughran described the deceased as “a well-known and well-loved member of the local community”.

“The community is in deep shock.  [The] news is very sad for the village of Bessbrook [and] this community will rally around the extended family in the weeks and months ahead,” she said.

Sinn Fein councillor Roisin Mulgrew offered her condolences to the deceased’s family: “This is an absolutely heartbreaking tragedy, especially coming so soon after Christmas, a time for family.  I’m sure the entire community will join me in offering my condolences to the family and assuring them that we will offer whatever help and assistance we can.  They are in all our thoughts at this difficult time,” she said.

UUP MLA Danny Kennedy also expressed his sympathies to the Mullan family, stating that he is “deeply saddened”.

“I knew the individual very well and lived next door to him for a period. He was a lifelong resident of the village and a much respected figure throughout the entire Bessbrook community. This is a devastating loss for his family and I offer my thoughts and prayers to the whole family circle,” Mr Kennedy said.

Mr Mullen was laid to rest in St Malachy’s Cemetery, Carrickcruppen, following Requiem Mass in St Peter’s and Paul’s Church, Bessbrook on Saturday morning.

He is survived by his brother, Danny, and extended family circle.

Police said they are not treating the death as suspicious.