Family: Give yourself up so we can have closure

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The family of the Markethill man killed in a hit-and-run accident have appealed to the person responsible to “do the honourable thing and come forward”.

James Shields (52) was discovered fatally injured on the Shillinghill Road shortly before 7am on Monday morning.

Speaking on behalf of the family, the Rev Simon Hamilton, minister of Cladymore Presbyterian Church, said Mr Shields’ relatives needed someone to come forward so they could achieve closure on the tragedy.

He said, “The family is shocked at what has happened and the fact that it appears to be a hit-and-run just exacerbates their grief.

“They also wish to thank the police for all the work they have done in the investigation.”

The road on which Mr Shields’ body was discovered is very remote with just a couple of houses on it and, according to local people, has little passing traffic.

Mr Shields, who lived on the Mowhan Road, was one of nine brothers and sisters.

Ulster Unionist Party councillor Jim Speers, who knows the family, said not knowing how Mr Shields had died was unbearable for them.

He added, “They are a widely-known family from Glenanne and I would appeal to anyone with information or whoever is responsible to come forward.”

Newry and Armagh MLA Danny Kennedy said, “This is a very quiet, rural area and the news of the discovery has shocked the local community. I offer my sincere sympathy to Mr Shields’ family and friends at this difficult time.”

Independent councillor Paul Berry said the local community was “shocked and saddened” by the news while Newry and Armagh DUP MLA William Irwin said his thoughts and prayers were with the family circle.

The funeral of Mr Shields will take place today (Thursday) at 12 noon service at Cladymore Presbyterian Church. The service will be conducted by the Rev David Irvine, minister of Markethill Presbyterian Church, as the Rev Hamilton will be out of the country on a prior engagement.

The police have also issued a renewed appeal for information. Detective Inspector Colin Patterson said, “I would continue to appeal to anyone who was travelling along the Shillinghill Road before 7am on Monday, May 13 and who may have witnessed this incident, or anyone who has any information about it to contact police on the non-emergency number 101.”