TWO men have died in separate falls in the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland today - within an hour of each other.

The first victim fell on Wee Binnian mountain just before midday and the second man fell about an hour later while walking on Slieve Commedagh.

The police and other emergency services were called to both incidents but the men were pronounced dead at the scene.

A third man fell in the Mournes at about 2.30pm but he was rescued and sustained a suspected broken ankle.

Inspector Frances McCullough said: "Police and other emergency services responded but unfortunately both men died at the scene."

The officer said the deaths were not being treated as suspicious.

Earlier police had urged members of the public to "exercise extreme caution due to strong winds" in the area.

At the time, Insp McCullough issued an appeal to "anyone thinking of venturing out for a walk on the mountains this afternoon, or indeed at any time, to think carefully before they head out".

"While weather conditions may seem okay when you start out on your journey, they can change very quickly as you venture upwards on the mountains," she said.

"I would also appeal to anyone considering a walk on the mountains to ensure they tell their loved ones where they are going, what route they intend to take and how long they expect to be away, and to always carry identification with them and a phone that is fully charged."

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