Families 'devastated' after man dies and two fall sick during Turkish dental trip

Henry McDonald
·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Andrey Khrobostov/Alamy Stock Photo</span>
Photograph: Andrey Khrobostov/Alamy Stock Photo

The families of a Northern Irish man who died and two of his friends who fell critically ill after a dental tourism trip to Turkey desperately want to bring their sons home, their local MP has said.

Richard Molloy, 33, was found dead on Saturday in the Turkish port city of Marmaris. His two friends , Declan Carson and Aaron Callaghan, fell critically ill and were reportedly found unconscious in the trio’s rented apartment.

The Belfast North MP, John Finucane, said their loved ones were in shock and “devastated” over what had happened to the men, who only on Friday posted pictures of themselves on a boat at the resort.

The Sinn Féin MP told Good Morning Ulster on Monday: “There is a family here making arrangements to bring their brother, their son, home and there are two other families just hoping their loved ones will pull through. So, it’s very difficult but we don’t have much clarity at this stage as to what has happened.”

Molloy’s family is being assisted by the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, which helps families repatriate to Ireland the bodies of people who have died suddenly abroad. The charity said on Monday night that Molloy’s body had been repatriated to Ireland and that Callaghan and Carson were off life support machines.

Colin Bell, who set up the charity in memory of his son Kevin, who died in New York in 2013, said: “It’s a very difficult situation. The young fellow died out in Turkey after travelling with his two friends.

“I understand they had been travelling out for dental treatment. We don’t know how it happened but it ended up with Richard dying and the other two lads being seriously ill.

“At this stage his sister has flown out and she’s been put in touch with the funeral company who are looking after Richard’s repatriation.”

Aaron Callaghan is a former player for the St James’ Swifts football club in Belfast.

The club tweeted: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to former first team player Aaron Callaghan today. Everyone at the club are thinking of you during this time and we have both you and your friends within our hearts.”

His former manager, Pat McAllister, said: “I just found out the news on Saturday and am in complete shock. Aaron is a gentleman and someone I get on really well with. All I can do is send my best wishes and I really hope he pulls through.”

Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs said it had been in contact with all three families and was assisting them.

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