‘It haunts me every night and every day’: Mother of tragic boy, 15, who was found dead in a ditch after a night out at a country music event reveals her heartbreak after finding out his body had been discovered

  • Matthew McCallan was found dead near Fintona, Co Tyrone, in December 
  • Since passing, his mother Frances says ‘she will never be the same person again’

The devastated mother of a 15-year-old boy who was found dead in a ditch after a night out has said she will be haunted ‘every night and every day’ for the rest of her life.

Matthew McCallan was found dead near Fintona in Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland, two weeks before Christmas last year after attending a country music event in the village with friends.

The schoolboy’s body was eventually found 35 hours after he went missing off Tattyreagh Road, roughly two miles from the country music venue.

A postmortem found that Matthew had died of hypothermia on the night.

Discussing her child’s death, Matthew’s mother Frances has said that she ‘will never be the same person again’.

Matthew McCallan was described as a `happy young boy’

The coffin of 15-year-old Matthew McCallan is taken from St Malachy’s Church, Edendork, following his funeral

‘I already knew he was gone, but to hear those words, “there has been a body found”, it’s just your worst nightmare,’ she told Belfast Live.

‘I’ll be traumatised for the rest of my life to know that it’s possibly one of the worst deaths, to know he died alone in a ditch.

‘It haunts me every night and every day and I’ll never be the same person again.’

She added: ‘I’ve lost everything because he was everything to me. He was the reason why I got up in the morning.

The funeral cortege of McCallan arriving at St Malachy´s Church

‘You don’t sleep at night, you’ve got haunting visions of him walking around the roads in Fintona. Those thoughts haunted me and they’ll haunt me for the rest of my life.’

Frances now rarely ever leaves her home because of the impact of Matthew’s death, saying she feels ‘very nervous’ and ‘safe in my bubble at home’. 

To celebrate Matthew’s 16th birthday the McCallan family are organising a tractor run in aid of the Search and Rescue Dog Association (SARDA) alongside other local groups.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has also now referred itself to the Police Ombudsman over concerns raised by Matthew’s family about the initial response to the search for him.

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