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Derry woman killed by cow during family holiday


Marian Clode, second left, with her grandaughters and daughter Lucy Rowe
Marian Clode, second left, with her grandchildren and daughter Lucy Rowe (Pic: JMW Solicitors)

A Manchester primary school teacher was killed when a cow charged her.

Marian Clode, originally from Derry, was catapulted into a fence by the animal, before it began to head-butt her.

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The accident happened when the 61-year-old was on holiday with her husband and other family members near Belford, Northumberland on April 3.

The family were walking along a bridle path in the Cheviot Hills when they spotted 20 cows and calves running towards them.

One of the cows charged the group and repeatedly head-butted Mrs Clode, with a member of the family claiming “she was about tossed like a rag doll”.

Kevin Rowe shepherded the rest of the party to safety in an adjoining field before returning to his mother-in-law who, by that time, was lying unconscious and face down in a field off the bridle path.

The farmer, Alistair Nixon, arrived on the scene several minutes after the attack, on a quadbike.

An ambulance was called and both family members and paramedics attempted resuscitation before Mrs Clode, from Ashton-under-Lyne, was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne.

She passed away two days later, on April 5.

The family have since engaged the professional services of Gordon Cartwright of JMW Solicitors to help guide them through the legal process which will now ensue.

An inquest will be held into Ms Clode’s death, involving both the police and the HSE.

This week the family issued a statement to explain the trauma they have experienced over the last fortnight.

Mr Cartwright said: “The family’s main reason for sharing their story at this terribly distressing time is that they want to prevent other families going through such a traumatic experience.

“The family are also aware that there is likely to be an inquest in the coming months and have asked that we help guide them through that process.

“The strength and dignity they have shown in the face of this tragedy is admirable and I am proud to support them at this difficult time.”

Derry SDLP Councillor John Boyle said: “This is a terrible tragedy for the family and everyone’s hearts will go out to them.”

Mrs Clode still has close relatives in Derry, including her mother.



Mal Rogers

Mal Rogers is a columnist and reporter with The Irish Post

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