Northern Ireland

Man still questioned over River Bann death in Kilrea

Owen McKeown's body was found in the River Bann
Image caption Owen McKeown's body was found in the River Bann

A 26-year-old man is still being questioned in connection with the death of a Ballymena man in the River Bann at the weekend.

The man who died was Owen McKeown, 21, from the Dunclug estate in the town.

An eyewitness saw him going into the water close to the Bann Road bridge in Kilrea at about 18:00 BST on Saturday. His body was found on Sunday.

Two other men, aged 25 and 30, were released on Monday.

Rescue teams began searching for Mr McKeown on Saturday night and about 50 volunteers got involved.

On Sunday, small boats were launched on the river as the hunt for the man continued.

Parish priest Father Paddy Delargy visited the McKeown family.

"They are in a state of shock and grief and they're coming to terms with what has been a great tragedy," Fr Delargy said.

"They're not exactly sure of the circumstances that led to the death of their son."


Sean McCarry from the Community Rescue Service said the alarm had been raised by canoeists who saw the man struggling in the water.

Mr McCarry said that he understood that an attempt had been made to rescue Mr McKeown, but it had failed.

Police have appealed for witnesses to contact them.

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