Northern Ireland

Mary Bradley Verhoeven: County Down woman dies in cliff fall

Mary Bradley Verhoeven Image copyright Via Wings
Image caption Mary Bradley Verhoeven was on holiday with her husband in Cape Verde when the tragic accident happened

A priest has paid tribute to a County Down woman who died on holiday on the west African island of Cape Verde.

Mary Bradley Verhoeven, who was 61 and from Dromore, was with her husband Marc when she lost her footing and fell from a cliff.

Fr Martin McAlinden said she would be a great loss to the community.

"She was a woman who was vivacious, totally giving of her time, not just to the parish, but to local charities in the town," he said.

"Also, as a confidante to myself just being new to the parish, she was someone I could talk to and trust.

"So it's kind of almost impossible to believe that she's gone."

Mrs Verhoeven worked for the Dromore charity Via Wings.

On its Facebook page, the charity said: "We are devastated at the loss of such a great woman of faith and true servant of God, and she will be missed tremendously by the entire community and beyond.

"She was an inspiration to everyone she met and touched the lives of many through Via Wings and further afield. She made such a positive impact on those she touched and she made a real difference.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Mary's family at this time and particularly with their immediate family circle, husband Marc, daughter Marianne and son Peter.

"We are so thankful for the honour of knowing her, losing her is almost too painful to bear, but we know that God will carry us through on wings like eagles."