Saturday 19 October 2019

'We are just devastated' - fiancée of man killed by falling tree reveals they were due to collect wedding rings


Storm victim: Matt Campbell and fiancée Robyn Newberry
Storm victim: Matt Campbell and fiancée Robyn Newberry

Victoria Leonard and Conor McCrave

The fiancée of a young man killed by a falling tree during Storm Ali has told how the couple had been due to collect their wedding rings last night - but she will now place his in his coffin.

Electrician Robert Matthew Campbell (24) was killed at Slieve Gullion Forest Park in Co Armagh as strong winds battered the country on Wednesday.

Swiss tourist Elvira Ferraii was also killed when the caravan she was staying in was swept off a cliff in Clifden, Co Galway.

Mr Campbell's loved ones said it seemed the former Royal Belfast Academical Institution pupil, who grew up in Glengormley, had been hit on the abdomen by the falling tree and crushed.

His grieving fiancée, Robyn Newberry (23), told how the young couple had last week sent out "save the date" cards, and were also due to put down a deposit on her wedding dress last night in preparation for their dream wedding next August.

Ms Newberry explained: "I first realised that something was wrong when I tried to ring Matt around lunchtime and it kept going to the answering machine, which wasn't like him. I tried calling him six times and there was no answer.

"It wasn't until I was leaving work that a police officer came to my workplace and told me there had been an accident and Matt hadn't survived. I thought it was a joke, that he was just lying.

"We are just devastated - it doesn't seem real."

Meanwhile, friends of Ms Ferraii, who worked in Switzerland as a nurse, have told how she had been looking forward to her trip to the west of Ireland.

Rolf Weber told Swiss newspaper 'Blick': "We are deeply shocked by this tragic accident."

He added that his wife had "a close and personal relationship" with Ms Ferraii and had been friends for a long time.

Irish Independent

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