Woman critical and dog dead after cow attack in Irish beauty spot
A woman injured after a rampaging cow attacked her and killed her dog at a lakeland beauty spot was last night in a critical condition in hospital.
The victim suffered serious back injuries in the freak incident on Devenish Island in Fermanagh.
The identity of the woman remains unknown, but she was airlifted to hospital from the Lough Erne island after the incident earlier this week.
It is believed she is a tourist who had moored a private hire cruiser at the scenic ecclesiastical heritage site.
She was said to be exploring the island with her son and their dog when the cow attacked on Sunday.
The family pet later died as a result of injuries.
One local man said: "It's possible that the woman's dog spooked the cow.
"And if it had a calf, it might have been acting protectively if it believed the pet dog was a threat."
An RNLI spokesman said: "Enniskillen RNLI and Rescue Water Craft attended the helicopter evacuation of an injured lady on Devenish Island.
"The volunteer crew, who were training at the time, were tasked by Belfast Coastguard and proceeded to the island.
"One of the crew stayed with the lady who had suffered back injuries while paramedics were transferred by the boat from the mainland.
"The Irish Coast Guard helicopter (Rescue 118) was tasked from Sligo and they airlifted the lady to the nearby South West Acute Hospital."
Last night ,none of the local representatives contacted by the Belfast Telegraph were aware of the identity of the injured woman, but all expressed their horror at the attack and offered their sympathies to the victim.
Erne DUP councillor Raymond Farrell said: "This seems to have been a lady who had moored her cruiser at Devenish to tour the island with her dog, and then this tragic incident occurred."
Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP Tom Elliot of the Ulster Unionist Party described the attack as "dreadful" and said his thoughts were with the injured lady.
SDLP councillor Patricia Rodgers said she had read about the attack in her local paper. "I hope that the poor lady makes a good recovery," she added.
Enniskillen UUP representative Keith Elliot, who lives close to Devenish, said: "I heard the rescue helicopter flying over my house on its way to airlift the victim to hospital after the incident happened."
But he heard nothing about the identity of he victim, leading him to think that she was not from the Fermanagh area.
"If she was a local person, it would have been the talk of the town," the councillor said.