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Sunday 19 November 2017

Mother (70) killed by train trying to save dog that ran on to track

Bridie McHale was killed on Saturday while trying to save her pet dog from an oncoming train. Stock Image
Bridie McHale was killed on Saturday while trying to save her pet dog from an oncoming train. Stock Image

Tom Shiel

A 70-year-old mother was killed on Saturday while trying to save her pet dog from an oncoming train.

Bridie McHale, from Straide, near Foxford, Co Mayo, died instantly in the horror impact near her home.

Her beloved collie dog was also killed.

The injuries to Mrs McHale, a mother of two, are understood to have been "devastating".

She was struck by a passenger train travelling from Manulla Junction to Ballina on Saturday morning.

There were about 20 passengers on the feeder train at the time. None of them was injured.

A distressed neighbour gave details of what happened.

"When Bridie's dog rushed on to the tracks, she went after him," they said.

"That's how this awful accident occurred.

"We are all numbed with shock over what happened and the loss of such a lovely lady."

Her remains were removed to the mortuary at Mayo University Hospital where a post-mortem examination is to be held.

The circumstances of the accident are to be investigated by Irish Rail, the Department of Transport and gardaí.

Prayers for Mrs McHale were said at masses yesterday in the Straide and Foxford area.

The accident occurred at a level-crossing known as Knockshanbally, where the road leads to a rural townland.

There have been a number of accidents over the years at the level-crossing.

In 2008, a retired local farmer was killed when he was struck by a passenger train at the same level-crossing, which is automated and unmanned.

Irish Independent

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