Father-of-three killed in Castledawson bike crash laid to rest

Flowers mark the spot on the Deerpark Road Bellaghy were motorcyclist Paul Mackle lost his life.INMM2314-432
Flowers mark the spot on the Deerpark Road Bellaghy were motorcyclist Paul Mackle lost his life.INMM2314-432

Tributes have been paid to the motorcyclist who died in an accident near Bellaghy on Saturday evening.

Paul Mackle (44), of Broagh Road, Castledawson, is survived by his wife Rosemary and three children, Danielle, Lara and Tiernan.

Police have appealed for witnesses to the accident, which occurred at Deerpark Road, around 8.30pm.

Investigating officers are keen to hear from witnesses and can be contacted by calling the non-emergency number 101. No other vehicles are believed to have been involved.

Mr Mackle’s funeral service was held in St Mary’s Church, Bellaghy, yesterday (Wednesday) and he was later laid to rest in the adjourning churchyard.

Several hundred mourners attended the service, including former clubmates from St Malachy’s GAA, Castledawson.

Paul was a former player at St Malachy’s and his family are heavily involved in the club.

In a statement, the club said his tragic death had come as a “great shock” to everybody in the community and the club. They extended their sympathy to his wife and children, mother and father Danny and Rose and family circle.

Sinn Fein MLA Ian Milne said the area had been stunned by the tragedy.

“It is a stark reminder to us all of just how dangerous a place the roads can be. I want to take this opportunity to extend my condolences to Paul’s wife, children and the wider family circle. My heard goes out to them at this very difficult time,” he said.

SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone expressed his “deep sadness” on learning about Mr Mackle’s death.

“I want to express my sympathy to the family of this man, who have lost their loved one is such tragic circumstances,” he said.

“This latest accident reminds us all of the dangers the roads pose to motorists and motorcyclists alike.

“Twenty-six people have now lost their lives on the roads this year. Every road death is one too many. We must exercise caution when using the roads in order to reduce tragic accidents of this nature.”

Ulster Unionist Assembly Member for Mid-Ulster Sandra Overend also extended her sympathy to the Mackle family.

“My thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time,” she said. “This was the second motorcyclist killed on the roads in Northern Ireland at the weekend, and the fifth this year. I would urge all road users to use caution on the roads, especially at this time when more cyclists and motorcyclists will be taking advantage of the good weather.”