Northern Ireland

Hen party drowning: Ruth Maguire to be buried in wedding dress

Ruth Maguire Image copyright Shauna McNeill/ Cooley Community Alert
Image caption Ruth Maguire's funeral mass will be held on Saturday morning

A mother-of-three who drowned on a hen weekend in the Republic of Ireland is to be buried in her wedding dress.

Ruth Maguire, 30, went missing overnight on Saturday in Carlingford, County Louth.

Her body was recovered from the water on Monday afternoon; Irish police said they were treating the incident as "a tragic accident".

The funeral of the County Down woman, who had been due to marry in August, will be held in Belfast this weekend.

Her family said she would be buried in her wedding dress at Carnmoney Cemetery following a funeral Mass on Saturday morning at St Vincent de Paul Church, Ligoniel.

Ruth's sister Rachel Wilkinson told the Belfast Telegraph her sister had been very organised about her wedding, which would have taken place in front of 180 family and friends.

She said Ms Maguire's three children had been due to be part of the bridal party.

"She was getting married on 8 August. Everything was ready," she said.

"We are going to let her wear her wedding dress in her coffin."

'Tragic accident'

Ms Wilkinson said she believed her sister lost her bearings on Saturday night when she got separated from the 32-strong group after leaving a bar.

The group had travelled to Carlingford to celebrate a friend's forthcoming wedding.

The alarm was raised by friends, who were staying at a house in the town, when they realised Ms Maguire had not returned after midnight.

Irish police investigating Ms Maguire's sudden death confirmed they were preparing a file for the coroner.

A spokesman said: "There is nothing to say this is anything other than a tragic accident."