Tributes to pensioner killed tending to cattle

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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.

East Londonderry DUP MLA Adrian McQuillan said the farming were well known in farming community. SDLP Councillor Roisin Loftus said Breige had been “hard working” all her life.

Adrian McQuillan 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 70’s was killed by cattle on the family farm, this evening.

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

“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.”

SDLP Causeway Coast and Glens Councillor Roisin Loftus also expressed her deepest sympathies following the tragic death.

Ms Loftus said that the victim was well known in the local area and had been a hard working farmer all her life.

“People in Garvagh are just in shock this morning. 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.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the lady’s family and friends at this very difficult time.”

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.”

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