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Body of Westport man found on beach


Anton McNulty
GARDAÍ have confirmed the body of a man found on Bertra beach this morning is that of missing Westport man Martin Philips, while the search for a missing Castlebar man continues.
The body of 58-year-old Martin Philips of St Mary’s Cresent, Westport, who was reported missing in the early hours of Sunday morning, was discovered by a member of the public this morning (Tuesday) on Bertra Beach.
Gardaí attended the scene at around 9am this morning. After the body was identified as that of Mr Philips, it was transferred to Mayo University Hospital for a postmortem. An extensive search of The Quay area of Westport took place over the last two days after Mr Philips was reported missing by family members after he left his home in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, An Garda Síochána, along with members of the Mayo Civil Defence, the coast guard and members of the public are continuing the search for 69-year-old Patrick Rowland who was reported missing in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday).
The alarm was raised by family members of Mr Rowland at approximately 1am after he left Mayo University Hospital, where he had been a patient. He was wearing only his pyjamas and a T-shirt and slippers when he left the hospital.
CCTV close to Dunne’s Stores in Market Square showed Mr Rowland walking in the direction of Newport Road at 1.25am and the search is currently concentrated around that area of the town.
An extensive search of the area took place during the night involving gardaí from Castlebar and Claremorris, while the coast guard helicopter from Malin Head was also involved. The search continued this morning with members of the public joining the emergency services while drones and search dogs have also been deployed.
Temperatures in Castlebar fell to -5 degrees Celsius overnight and a Garda spokesperson asked households and businesses in the area to check their premises including outhouses and sheds. Mr Rowland is described as being 6' 3" in height with grey hair and of slim build.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Castlebar Garda Station on 094 9038200 or any Garda Station.