A British man has died and two others are fighting for their lives after travelling to Turkey for dental treatment.
Richard Molloy, 33, from Ardoyne, north Belfast, passed away on Saturday after flying to the southern port city of Marmaris. It is not known what caused his death.
His two friends, named locally as Declan Carson and Aaron Callaghan, are also said to be in a critical condition in hospital.
The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, which is helping Richard’s family bring his remains home, said it was not yet confirmed how the trio fell gravely ill.
Colin Bell, of the Trust, told The Belfast Telegraph: ‘It’s a very difficult situation. The young fellow died out in Turkey after travelling with his two friends.
‘I understand they had been travelling out for dental treatment, we don’t know how it happened but it ended up with Richard dying and the other two lads being seriously ill.’
Sources told The Guardian the men were in Turkey to undergo a teeth whitening procedure. The country has a strong medical and dental tourism industry.
There were unconfirmed reports that the friends had taken medication linked to the treatment, before being found unconscious in their apartment, according to the paper.
However, it has not been suggested that the drugs led to the men falling ill.
Aaron posted a photo of the him and his two friends in the sea on Friday with the caption: ‘How’s your Friday’.
St James’ Swifts Football Club posted a message of support for its former player Aaron, who was said to have been in a coma along with Declan. Their condition is understood to have improved.
The club tweeted : ‘Our thoughts and prayers go out to former first team player Aaron Callaghan today.
‘Everyone at the club are thinking of you during this time and we have both you (and) your friends within our hearts.’
Sinn Fein MP for North Belfast John Finucane described Richard’s death as ‘absolutely heartbreaking’.
He said: ‘It’s just a tragedy now that there is a family going to have to make plans to bring their son home to bury him.’
A Foreign Office spokesperson said: ‘We are supporting the family of a British man who has died in Turkey and we are in contact with the Turkish authorities.’
The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs said it was also providing consular support.
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