Belfast Telegraph

Bride dies in fall from bridge after wedding

By Anita Guidera

A bride has lost her fight for life after falling from a bridge just four days after celebrating her wedding in Londonderry.

Caroline Cahalin (40), Carndonagh, County Donegal suffered devastating head and back injuries when she fell backwards from the bridge and down a six metre embankment at around 3am last Sunday morning.

Just last Thursday, she marked her 40th birthday by marrying her partner, Tony Cahalin at the Guildhall in Derry and was continuing the celebrations with friends when the tragedy happened.

She had been sitting on the bridge in Cardonagh known locally as the Tul na Ri bridge over a stream close by a nightclub of the same name when she appears to have lost her balance and fallen backwards landing on a hard surface below.

Caroline, whose maiden name was Farren, was rushed to Letterkerkenny General Hospital but despite desperate attempts to save her, she was pronounced dead yesterday morning, surrounded by her family and husband.

The victim is a cousin of Sinead McDaid(22) who was also newly married when she lost her life in a road traffic collision in Culdaff, County Donegal nine years ago.

Yesterday, Sinead’s father, Sean Farren, who is on holidays in Spain with his wife Magdalene, described the devastation of the family on hearing the news of the tragedy.

“It is a terrible tragedy to lose a daughter. Caroline was a lovely, bubbly, happy-go-lucky girl. It is worse than your worst nightmare come true,” he said.

Mr Farren, who has campaigned tirelessly for answers to the cause of his daughter’s fatal crash, which occurred on a newly resurfaced road, said that he had spoken with Caroline’s father, Danny, who is his uncle.

“They are devastated. He said I knew what it was like to lose a daughter because I had been there and now it has happened to him. It is unbelievable,” he said.

A garda source said yesterday that the death was under investigation but was being treated as a tragic accident.

He added that they were awaiting the results of a post mortem examination, which took place at the hospital yesterday.

“We are establishing all the circumstances surrounding the accident and will be looking at the results of the post mortem examination to determine the exact cause of death,” he said.

The deceased woman’s parents, Danny and Patricia Farren had moved back to live in their native Donegal from Scotland several years ago.

Devastated family and friends gathered at the Farren home in Carndonagh yesterday evening for the arrival of the remains from Letterkenny General Hospital.

Local county councillor Charlie McConalogue said last night that the whole community was in shock following the tragedy which had occurred just three weeks after the horrific road collision in the same peninsula in which eight men lost their lives.

“People just cannot believe this has happened – right in the middle of the town.

“It is just one of those freak accidents and our thoughts and prayers are with Caroline’s family and friends.

“It is even more heartbreaking coming, as it does, just a few short weeks after the tragedy in the neighbouring parishes of Buncrana and Clonmany,” he said.

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