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'A beautiful son' - tributes paid to man and woman who lost their lives in separate accidents during Storm Ali

Swiss tourist Elvira Ferraii and Northern Irish man Matt Campbell both lost their lives in tragic circumstances during the storm.
Sep 21st 2018, 8:50 AM 74,618 3

1 Matt Campbell and his fiancée Robyn Newberry Source: Facebook/Robert Mark Campbell

TRIBUTES HAVE BEEN paid to the two people who lost their lives during Storm Ali earlier this week. 

Swiss tourist Elvira Ferraii, a mother-of-three aged in her 50s, died after the caravan she was sleeping in was blown off a cliff at Claddaghduff, Clifden, in Co Galway on Wednesday morning.

She had been in Ireland to study English for five weeks.

Matt Campbell meanwhile, an engineer in his 20s, lost his life at Slieve Gullion Forest Park in Armagh after being hit by a fallen tree while working for Northern Ireland Water on the same day.

His father, Robert Mark Campbell, has paid tribute to his son on Facebook in the wake of his tragic death.

“We are so proud of Matt and all he achieved in his short life,” he said, describing Matt as “a beautiful son”.

The extended family of ours and his fiancée Robyn Newberry are all in shock and still in disbelief. We are so proud of Matt and all he achieved in his short life. We all love you so and you made us very proud. Til we meet again.

Autumn weather Sep 19th 2018 A man picks up debris at the scene in Claddaghduff, near Clifden, in Co Galway where Swiss woman Elvira Ferraii lost her life in tragic circumstances during Storm Ali Source: PA Wire/PA Images

An award at Matt’s former school, the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, will now be named in his honour, his former principal Janet Williamson told BBC News.

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‘So tragic’

CEO of Northern Ireland Water Sara Venning meanwhile expressed her company’s sympathies at Matt’s tragic death and said “this was a tragic incident and NI Water will continue to work with the statutory authorities and the contractor as they carry out their investigation”.

A friend of tragic Elvira Ferraii meanwhile told the Irish Daily Mail that she had been “excited about her trip”.

Rolf Weber said he is “deeply shocked”. “This is just so tragic.”

My wife will be devastated. They were good friends. We have known her for at least 25 years. Our children went to school together.

President Higgins expressed himself “deeply saddened” by Elvira’s death.

“As President of Ireland, may I express my deepest condolences to her family,” he said.

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Cianan Brennan


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