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Shock and sadness that this quiet rural idyll could be setting for such a tragedy


General view of a scene where a woman who was stabbed to death at a property in Myroe near Limavady

General view of a scene where a woman who was stabbed to death at a property in Myroe near Limavady

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

General view of a scene where a woman who was stabbed to death at a property in Myroe near Limavady

On the banks of the River Roe morning is turning to afternoon and the tide is starting to drift out towards the Atlantic, which lies a few miles downstream.

At a picnic area and slipway several families are drying off after a morning spent on the river. Paddleboards are being pulled from the water, sandwiches unpacked from picnic baskets as they’re removed from open car boots.

Along the Sea Coast Road cyclists glide by, rolling through the popular tourist spot in the shadow of Binevenagh, which towers overhead. Walkers get ready to set off for an afternoon hike in the mountains, where stunning views across Lough Foyle await.

They can take in the sights of the Devil’s Thumb and look out across the Wild Atlantic Way, where the unspoilt delights of Benone and Downhill beaches attract visitors from far and wide.

The Sea Coast Road meanders its way between Limavady and Castlerock, through fields of green, offering breathtaking countryside.

Just a mile along the road a train halt opens the north west to visitors.

It’s a haven for tourists and local day-trippers. A peaceful, rural spot for family fun.

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The landscape makes the sense of shock all the more palpable.

On the far side of the river bank sits Swanns Bridge, a small holiday site for those who pursue the outdoor life away from it all. Wetsuits hang to dry over a long wooden fence. A black 4x4 vehicle is parked beside a lone glamping pod.

But instead of the usual holidaymakers relaxing on the decking, a PSNI forensic officer sweeps across the front of the pod.

A tin of Corona beer sits, unmoved from the night before, at the spot police were first called to at around 8.20 on Monday evening.

What they discovered was a woman on the decking who had been stabbed. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her 53-year-old partner required hospital treatment. He is now being questioned on suspicion of her murder.

Over the hedge, cars drive slowly past. Glimpses of the scene are visible from the road, but no one is being allowed in unless they’re residents.

Families carry on with their fun just a hundred yards away, but there’s still a sense of shock that something so horrific could have happened in an area were such fun can be had.

“We come down here quite a lot, the kids love the paddleboarding,” said one woman, resting on a deckchair in the picnic spot as wetsuits are stripped off around her.

“We had planned to come here today and weren’t sure whether we’d be able to. But we came along to let the children have their fun.

“This area is such a peaceful place, used for lots of different watersports, camping and glamping.

"You never expect to hear of anything like this. I feel so much for the owners of the site.

"They’ve only managed to get reopened after Covid restrictions and then this has happened. It’s all a big shock.”

On site the PSNI remained as quiet as the surrounding countryside over the circumstances of the fatal stabbing.

While police say they’re not looking for anyone else in connection with the death, they are looking for the family of the victim, who they had not yet been able to contact.

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