Two men out walking have died following separate falls in the Mourne Mountains in Co Down.

The fatal incidents occurred within an hour of each other in the Co Down mountain range.

PSNI Inspector Frances McCullough said: "Police received a request for assistance after a male was reported to have fallen while walking on Wee Binnian shortly before midday and received a further request for assistance after a male was reported to have fallen while walking on Slieve Commedagh shortly before 1pm."

Inspector McCullough said that police and other emergency services responded but "unfortunately both men died at the scene".

He said the deaths are not being treated as suspicious.

A third man was also rescued from the mountains with a suspected broken ankle following a fall close to the Saddle at around 2.30pm.

The PSNI's Air Support unit described the recovery and rescue operations as "tough and challenging".

PSNI deputy chief constable Stephen Martin tweeted: "Sincere sympathy to the families of the two men who died. Also a heartfelt thanks to my colleagues @PSNIAirSupport, @PSNINMDown & the other emergency services who responded to these tragic events. We are very proud of you & truly appreciate what you do in the service of others."

The mountains are classified as an area of outstanding natural beauty and are popular with hill walkers.