Cape Verde fall woman originally from the Cliftonville

By Evan Short

Prayers were said in two North Belfast schools this week following the death of a woman in an accident on the west African island of Cape Verde.

Mary Bradley Verhoeven (61), who lived in Dromore, was originally from the Cliftonville area and still has family living locally. Her twin sister, Philomena is a teacher in Deanby Primary School while a second sister, Bernadette Duffy, is a year head in Mercy College, Ballysillan.

Mrs Bradley Verhoeven was walking with her husband on Cape Verde when she slipped and fell from a cliff.

A special service was held in Mercy College this week after her family received the tragic news.  Principal Martin Moreland said as well as her sister being a member of the teaching staff, Mary had a number of relatives attending the school.

“The staff are very close here and when we heard the news about Bernadette’s sister we came together as a staff and then with the pupils and organised a special prayer service.

“We have a very good network because of the difficulties here over the years so the phone calls were being made over the weekend so we could support Bernadette at this terrible time.”

He said Bernadette had been in touch with the school to thank everyone for their thoughts.

“She comes from a big family and that is helping,” he said.

The staff and governors of Our Lady’s Primary School, Deanby, also sent their condolences.

A statement issued by Mrs Bradley Verhoeven’s children, Peter and Marianne described their mother as “an inspiration”, paying tribute to her generosity.

“We lost this great lady to a tragic accident whilst away on holiday. We will always love you mummy.”

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