Tributes to Kilkeel murder victim Bobby McKee brother of former MLA

The community of Kilkeel is said to be devastated after the murder of a man in a home in the town.

The victim has been named locally as Bobby McKee - brother of former MLA Harold.

Tributes have been paid to Bobby and sympathy offered to his family and friends.

Following Thursday's incident on the Newcastle Road, a woman is also being treated for head injuries. Police launched a murder inquiry, and said the attack is not being treated as a firearms-related incident.

Bobby McKee. Credit: Pacemaker

Local DUP MLA Diane Forsythe says the news has rocked the community.

“There is a real numbness and shock at the tragedy that has occurred here,” she said.

“Everyone is completely devastated, heartbroken, keeping the family very much at the forefront of their thoughts and prayers and I would just ask for respect for the family’s privacy and respect for the integrity of the police investigation just from throughout the community and beyond at such a difficult time.

“The police have put a statement out last night clarifying the facts and I think it is best placed that the information is taken from there. The police have acted promptly in this and full respect for the integrity of their investigation is needed.

“A very well respected family, deep-rooted in their Christian faith and I think the sense of Christian faith and the community here in Kilkeel is so important at this time. I know they are at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts and prayers and I hope that continues. I would just ask that there is respect for the family to come forward and speak when they feel is appropriate.”

A 25-year-old man, who was arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder, remained in police custody on Friday. Mr McKee has been remembered as a “Christian gentleman and friend to many”. In a social media post, the TUV’s south down branch said: “We would like to express our deepest sympathy to Harold, Maura, Mrs McKee and the family circle on the tragic death of Harold’s brother Bobby. “Bobby was a real Christian gentleman and friend to many.” On Thursday night, Detective Chief Inspector Anthony Kelly said police received a report of concern for the safety of a couple at a property in the Newcastle Road area of the town shortly after 12.50pm. “On arrival, officers located the body of a man who was unconscious and not breathing,” he said. “A woman, aged in her 60s, was also inside the house with serious head injuries. “Medical treatment was provided to the woman at the scene – and she has since been taken to hospital for treatment to her injuries. “She remains in a stable condition at this time. “The man was sadly pronounced deceased at the scene.” He said police arrested the 25-year-old man at around 2pm on suspicion of murder and attempted murder. SDLP South Down MLA Colin McGrath has said the entire community has been left shocked and devastated. “This news is simply horrific and my thoughts and prayers are with the McKee family and their wider circle,” he said. “People right across this area have been left shocked and devastated by what has taken place here, many in Kilkeel can’t believe what has happened in their community. “This is a close-knit community who will take some time to come to terms with this incident which has left a dark cloud over the area.”

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