Man (22) dies after being injured in ‘one punch’ assault on beach

PSNI extends sympathies to family of Darren O’Neill ‘at this very sad time’

A man has died of injuries he suffered in a suspected one-punch assault on a popular beach in Co Down.

Darren O’Neill (22) was admitted to hospital on Thursday following the alleged assault at Tyrella Beach, near Newcastle.

The PSNI said he was not local to the area.

A 21-year-old man was previously charged with causing grievous bodily harm in relation to the incident. He is due to appear at Downpatrick Magistrates Court next month.


Det Chief Insp Darren McCartney, from the PSNI serious crime branch, said on Sunday that Mr O’Neill had died after being critically ill for a number of days.

“I would like to offer my sympathies to the family and friends of Darren at this very sad time,” he said.

“Our inquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances surrounding Darren’s death and I would appeal to anyone who may have witnessed this incident or who has any information to contact detectives.”

A postmortem is to be carried out to determine the exact cause of death.

In the aftermath of the incident, Det Chief Inspector McCartney had warned of the “hugely destructive impact on both victim and perpetrator” of one-punch attacks, saying “the consequences can be devastating, completely altering the lives of all concerned”.