Heartbroken mother’s appeal after son’s sudden death

The late Terry McCartney's mother Margaret, pictured at her Knockalla Park home with daughters Jennifer McCartney and Michelle Toland yesterday afternoon. 2202JM06
The late Terry McCartney's mother Margaret, pictured at her Knockalla Park home with daughters Jennifer McCartney and Michelle Toland yesterday afternoon. 2202JM06
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The grieving family of a Derry man who died just hours after he was assaulted in the city centre have appealed for the public’s help in tracing his final movements.

Terry McCartney’s body was discovered at his John Street flat at 10 a.m. on February 5 last.

Earlier that morning, at 2.50 a.m., Mr. McCartney was involved in an altercation with a group of men at Shipquay Gate, during which he was punched to the ground.

Police later said they were not treating his death as suspicious following the results of a post mortem.

However, the 42-year-old’s heartbroken mother, Margaret, is urging members of the public to come forward with any information that can “help me come to terms with my son’s death.”

“I need to know what Terry was doing in the hours before he died,” she said.

“Until I know where he was, what he was doing and who he was with, I can’t settle.

“All I have at the minute are questions; I need answers.

“Any scrap of information - however unimportant it might seem - could be helpful.”

The McCartney family is particularly anxious to trace a person said to have helped Terry after he’d been assaulted; they also want anyone who may have been in contact with him or saw him prior to or following the incident at Shipquay Gate to come forward.

His mother added: “Not having any information is part of the problem.

“Perhaps, someone saw him in a shop or passed him on the street or maybe they’ve heard something since then; any information could help.”

The family is also appealing to local business owners to examine CCTV footage in a bid to identify if Mr. McCartney either entered or was in the vicinity of their premises on the morning of February 5.

Mrs. McCartney said she was also anxious to dispel speculation surrounding her son’s sudden death.

“So many rumours have been doing the rounds about Terry’s death. I want people to know that his death was totally unrelated to other incidents that took place in the city that weekend. Also, I think it’s important to stress that the assault had nothing to do with his death. All this speculation doesn’t help.

“If anyone has any information about Terry’s last movements, I’d appeal to them to please pass it on to someone they trust and feel comfortable with and they can then get in touch with us.”