1. ITV Report

Two men killed in Mourne Mountains falls during strong winds

The men died during strong winds in the mountains. Photo: PA

Two men have died in separate falls amid strong winds on a mountain range in Northern Ireland.

The walkers were killed within an hour of each other on the Mourne Mountains on Sunday.

The first fatal incident happened on the Wee Binnian hill shortly before 12pm. The second man fell to his death on the Slieve Commedagh mountain just before 1pm.

Another man was injured in a third falling incident, in an area known as the Saddle, around 2.30pm. He sustained a broken ankle.

The Mourne Mountain Rescue Team supported by police and other emergency services were involved in the two recovery and one rescue operations.

The mountains are classified as an area of outstanding natural beauty and are popular with hill walkers.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances in the deaths.

A support aircraft in the Mourne Mountains. Credit: PA

The Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Air Support unit described the recovery and rescue operations as "tough and challenging".

A tweet said: "In strong winds we managed to airlift one male out but sadly the two others had died. Our thoughts are with their loved ones."

PSNI deputy chief constable Stephen Martin tweeted: "Sincere sympathy to the families of the two men who died. Also a heartfelt thanks to my colleagues @PSNIAirSupport, @PSNINMDown & the other emergency services who responded to these tragic events. We are very proud of you & truly appreciate what you do in the service of others."

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South Down MP Chris Hazzard expressed his condolences to the families of the two men.

"The tragic news that two men died today while walking in the Mournes will have shocked the entire local community," said the Sinn Fein representative.

"I'd like to commend Mountain Rescue and the emergency services who responded to today’s incidents and who also rescued a third walker who got into difficulties elsewhere in the Mournes.

"My thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of those who tragically died in these incidents in the Mournes today."