Tributes paid to Breige McKeefry

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Tributes have been paid after the death of an elderly woman in a farming incident in Garvagh, County Londonderry on Tuesday night.

Breige (nee Mullan) McKeefry was a mother of six.

It is understood the incident that claimed her life happened as she was tending to cattle at her family farm on Carhill Road, Garvagh.

Breige was the beloved wife of Mickey and devoted mother of Michele, Fiona, Brendan, Olive, Michael and Johnny.

DUP East Londonderry MLA Adrian McQuillan, who expressed his sympathies after the farm tragedy, last night said: “This news is very shocking to the entire close-knit community of Garvagh and the surrounding areas. The family were well-known in the farming community and I understand the woman in her 70s was killed by cattle on the family farm, this evening.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the family during this deeply distressing time.”

Mr McQuillan added: “The HSENI will be carrying out investigations. This evening’s incident serves as a reminder that there are many dangers that surround us on our farms. It is important that those working on farms take caution and follow all safety procedure.”

Sinn Fein MLA for the area Caoimhe Archibald said: “My thoughts and prayers are with the woman’s family and friends in the wake of her tragic death.

“This latest fatality on a local farm is an awful reminder of the risks faced by our farming community in their daily routine and the HSE has a responsibility to carry out a thorough investigation of this tragedy.”

SDLP Causeway Coast and Glens Councillor Roisin Loftus said the woman had been a hard working farmer.

“To lose a friend and well known member of the community in these circumstances is an absolute tragedy,” she said.

“The victim was a hard working farmer all her life. It just demonstrates again the dangers that farm workers face, particularly at this time of year. I would encourage all farm workers to exercise extra caution, the last thing this community needs is another tragedy.”

In a statement the Health and Safety Executive (HSENI) said it is investigating the incident which happened in Garvagh on Wednesday night.

A spokesperson for the HSENI said: “Our deepest sympathy is with the bereaved family at this sad time.

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