FRIENDS of an Irishman who died in a drowning incident earlier this week have slammed social media users who shared disturbing footage of him being pulled from a river.
Paddy Joe McDermott died at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast on Tuesday less than 24 hours after he was rescued from the River Lagan.
A video showing Mr McDermott being recovered from the water by police on Monday quickly emerged online and was shared on WhatsApp.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, a devastated friend of the deceased - who did not want to be named - appealed for the public to delete the video if they have it on their phone.
They added that the sharing of the footage has caused deep "distress" for his family.
In a statement, the PSNI said: "Social media is a valuable communication tool however police are also aware of the distress that can be caused, often unintentionally, by posts that are made with little thought for the repercussions or effect their words or images may have on others.
"Just as we ask people to respect each other in everyday life, we would also ask people to be respectful and considerate on social media, taking time to consider the potential impact or consequences of material before they post it."
It's not yet clear how Mr McDermott entered the river close to the Ormeau Embankment on April 9.
His funeral will take place on Friday morning at the Holy Family Church in Belfast City Centre.