Probe into death of Felixstowe man

INQUIRIES are well under way today into the death of a Felixstowe tug boat captain who died while a police officer was investigating a disturbance at his house.

INQUIRIES are well under way today into the death of a Felixstowe tug boat captain who died while a police officer was investigating a disturbance at his house.

An officer entered the property in Clacton-on-Sea, saying there had been a breach of the peace, after hearing Ronnie O'Reilly shouting at his 12-year-old son.

Shortly afterwards, 48-year-old Mr O'Reilly collapsed on the kitchen floor suffering from chest pains and died.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it had decided to manage the investigation into Mr O'Reilly's death after they were contacted by Essex police about the matter.


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IPCC commissioner David Petch said: “Essex Police made a mandatory referral to the IPCC.

“Our investigator will direct the Essex Police inquiry and report to the coroner.

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“We need to find out what led up to this tragic collapse and how the incident was then handled.

“It should be emphasised that Mr O'Reilly was not under arrest at the time that he collapsed.

“The post mortem showed that he died of natural causes.”

At 9.30pm on Thursday, June 14 an Essex Police constable said he heard shouts from Mr O'Reilly's home.

The officer was in discussion with him when Mr O'Reilly collapsed. An ambulance was summoned but Mr O'Reilly was pronounced dead an hour later.

Father-of-three Mr O'Reilly was born and bred in Felixstowe and had worked at the port since he was 16.

Flags at the docks have been flown at half mast as a mark of respect to him.

He lived in Berkeley Road, Clacton, with his wife Moira, 42. They have three children - Keiran, 15, Ronnie, 12, and Keirsen , 22.

The couple had been together for 20 years, marrying in 1990 and renewing their vows in 2000 and were planning on moving to Spain later this year to start a new life.

Family and friends said he was well respected and loved by all who knew him.

Work colleague Ray Bailey, of Treetops, Felixstowe, said: “Everybody at work is still in a state of shock over this tragedy and after speaking to many people around Felixstowe, and the level of respect and affection they have for Ronnie, I know he will be sorely missed by us all.”

As well as the IPCC investigation, Essex Police's professional standards department is investigating the incident.

Mr O'Reilly's funeral was due to take place at noon today at St Felix Church in Felixstowe's Gainsborough Road. The service was due to be followed by an interment at Felixstowe Cemetery.

Pay your tribute to Ronnie O'Reilly - write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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