Police name murder victim who was killed in 'exchange of blows' after argument

  • WATCH: The PSNI's Detective Chief Inspector Neil McGuinness gives an update from the murder scene in Portrush:

Police have named 46 year old Paul Rowlands as the victim of a murder in Portrush.

The father of five and grandfather of one was from the Cambridge area of England and had been staying in the seaside town since 1st June.

In a press conference this afternoon, Detective Chief Inspector, Neil McGuinness gave some details of their investigation

"We believe that Paul and another male were drinking in the area of Bath Terrace on the benches," he said.

"Subsequently there was an argument and an assault took place at around midnight," DCI McGuiness said, describing the assault as an "exchange of blows."

"Paul was then found by a member of the public in Bath Terrace at around twenty past two in the morning.

"An ambulance attended and Paul was sadly pronounced dead at the scene."

Detectives gave the update as a 39 year old man continues to be questioned by police on suspicion of murder.

Police also confirmed that Mr Rowlands family had been informed of his death, with DCI McGuinness describing them as "devastated."

"I'm appealing for anyone who was in the Bath Terrace who witnessed any argument or disagreement or anything that may be relevant to come forward and speak to police on the 101 system or if need be to the Crimestoppers charity," DCI McGuinness added.

  • WATCH: DCI McGuinness appeals for witnesses to come forwards:

"We believe Paul was in the area over the past few weeks and would have stayed in or around the seafront.

"Anyone who is aware of his movements in the weeks leading up to his death, we would like to hear from.

"I believe Paul was in the company of another male and there was some sort of verbal disagreement which was overheard by some people we have already spoken to and there was an exchange of blows and Paul has died on the ground," DCI McGuinness said.

SDLP MLA Cara Hunter said the local community has been devastated.

"People are devastated. We welcome thousands of tourists here every single year, we're very family friendly, so to hear that something like this has happened right on our doorstep, people are really shocked," she said.

"I'm hoping that anybody who heard or saw anything late on Sunday into the early hours of Monday will please come forward and share it with police.

"It's so crucial and so important to play a positive role to tell the truth and come forward if they saw or witnessed anything - even the smallest thing could be the piece of the puzzle that we need."

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