Family heartbroken over Bulgaria tragedy

Published Monday, 30 June 2014
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The family of a young Shankill father have told UTV they have been left heartbroken over his death while on holiday in Bulgaria.

James Kelly, 25, had been enjoying a break at a resort on the Black Sea with his partner when he drowned on Wednesday.

On the day he died, he had earlier called his mum to tell her it was the best holiday he had been on.

His aunt, Irene Owens, told UTV that she didn't know how the family would cope with his loss.

"His mummy and daddy, I don't know how they are going to survive without seeing him," she said.

"She can't - she told me that the other day before she even flew out. She said: 'I don't know how I am going to get through one day without seeing his wee face'."

He was so close to shore ... How did that happen?

Irene Owens, relative

James leaves a daughter, aged just three.

"He loved the ground she walked on," his aunt added.

"He loved her that much. And this is going to be very hard too for that wee baby."

The young man was also a nephew of Bobby Moffett who was shot dead by paramilitaries in 2010.

His family suspect that he may have had an epileptic fit before getting into difficulty in the water and they have asked for a second autopsy to be carried out.

According to his mum, who has travelled to Bulgaria in the wake of the tragedy, they are hopeful of getting his body home later this week.

They have been receiving help and support from the family of young Newry man Kevin Bell, who set up a repatriation fund in his name after he was killed in a hit-and-run in the USA last year.
© UTV News
Comments Comments
James in Comber wrote (212 days ago):
RIP young man, my thoughts with your family at this very sad time.
Barry in Derry wrote (212 days ago):
awful tragedy. RIP fella.
... in Belfast wrote (212 days ago):
Heartbreaking time :( thoughts are with his girlfriend and little girl and also the family must be going threw an awful time.. Rip x
frankie in west belfast wrote (212 days ago):
very sorry to hear about this young man r.i.p. thoughts and prayers with his family
patrick in ardoyne wrote (212 days ago):
So sad for a young family to go through this god bless
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