THE family of a Rathfriland man who choked to death in the Coach Inn last week have spoken of their distress after burying his mother just days later.

It is understood Wesley Megaw, who died in the Coach restaurant just over a week ago when out for a meal with a friend, choked on a piece of steak after it became stuck in his throat.

The 41-year-old's mother Irene, who lived in Knockview Gardens not far from her son, died on Wednesday May 19 - two days after the family buried Wesley.

Mrs Megaw had been ill for some time and had been in hospital for the past fortnight before she passed away last week.

Wesley's sister Liz Burns was in a state of shock when she spoke to the Leader on Monday - the day Wesley would have turned 42.

"What is there to say when your mother and brother die within days of each other - other than that we love them," said an emotional Mrs Burns.

"Wesley would have gone up to stay with my mother when she wasn't well," added Mrs Burns who said the family, which includes brothers Edwin and Raymond and another sister Sharon Lundy, were close especially since her mother became ill.

Describing what has been a bad run of luck for the family, Mrs Burns said her brother had just been recovering from a serious assault in August last year.

"He ended up in hospital after that and it took him a while to recover from it," said Mrs Burns. "There were investigations still going on up until very recently."

Three men are understood to have appeared in court last week in connection with a series of charges including Grevious Bodily Harm, threats to kill, and theft.

Two of the men were remanded on bail until September 6, while another will appear in court again on June 17.

Wesley and his mother were buried side-by-side at Drumlough Elim burial ground following services at Rathfriland Elim Church last week.