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Post-mortem due on tragic cattle attack woman


The farm at Carhill Road near Swatragh in Co Londonderry

The farm at Carhill Road near Swatragh in Co Londonderry

Photopress Belfast

The farm at Carhill Road near Swatragh in Co Londonderry

The post-mortem into the death of an elderly woman who died after she was attacked by cattle is to be carried out today.

Breige McKeefry, who was in her 70s, passed away after the incident on the family farm near Swatragh, Co Londonderry.

It is understood the mother-of-six was working with livestock when she was attacked and received injuries to her head.

She was taken to Causeway Hospital, but died a short time later. Following the completion of the post-mortem, her body will be returned home for burial.

Mrs McKeefry leaves behind her husband, Mickey, and their children, Michele, Fiona, Brendan, Olive, Michael and Johnny.

East Londonderry MLA Adrian McQuillan, who knows the family well, said she was a very hard-working woman who came from a well-respected family.

"She was a woman who was very light on her feet - she was always very busy," he added. "When I worked as a postman, I used to call in to their home for cups of tea. They are a very decent family, a close family, a very ordinary country family."

He stressed that such incidents were a reminder that farming was dangerous. "Many people around Garvagh have said how her tragic death is and it drives home how dangerous an occupation farming is," Mr McQuillan added. "The community is very shocked."

Ulster Farmers' Union president Barclay Bell said it was "very sad news" that a third farming tragedy had hit Northern Ireland in the last few weeks.

"The farming community is still recovering from the tragic farm accident last week in Coagh, and for this heartbreaking incident to happen so soon after is bound to have a lasting impact on farmers and their families," he added.

"I wish to extend our deepest sympathy to Mrs McKeefry's family at this time and to all the families who have lost loved ones in farm accidents.

"Farms are busy workplaces, and sometimes they are dangerous. Even one death on a farm is one too many and these latest fatalities are sad reminders that you can never be too careful on a farm."

Local DUP councillor Sam Cole said it was a "terrible tragedy" that had left the communities in Swatragh and Garvagh in shock. He added: "Everyone is a complete state of shock. This tragedy highlights the dangers farmers face every day.

"It's quite unusual for cattle to kill, but they have potential to kick out. Breige comes from a very respected and well-known family. It's a tough time for the family."

A Health and Safety Executive (HSENI) spokesman said: "The HSENI can confirm it is investigating a fatality on a farm. Our deepest sympathy is with the bereaved family at this sad time.

"Given the recent tragic deaths on Northern Ireland farms, the HSENI is appealing to the farming community to always prioritise safety and think safe before starting any job on the farm."

Belfast Telegraph