An Irish woman died after she tried to rescue her dog from an oncoming train in Co Mayo.

An inquest heard that 70-year-old Bridget McHale’s dog Prince had laid down on the rail tracks and refused to move.

“When I blew the hooter the dog moved away from the train onto the tracks and lay down,” train driver, Jonathan Hopkins, told gardaí (Irish police) afterwards. Hearing the Ballina bound train on its way, McHale desperately tried to move her pet away from the danger to no avail.

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Hopkins applied the brakes but the train was still moving when it reached McHale who was crouched over Prince, still trying to move him.

Castlebar Coroner's Court heard that she died immediately upon impact and that none of the train’s passengers were hurt or witnessed the collision.

McHale’s husband, James, did not attend the inquest but a statement was read on his behalf afterward that the pair had both been out dancing the night before in Swinford and that it had been a “great night”. The following morning his wife had read the papers, done the crossword and left “in great spirits” to walk Prince at 10.30am.

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They had been married for 51 years and the Coroner Patrick O’Conor extended his sympathies to McHale for his “heartbreaking” loss.

He also extended his sympathy to train driver Jonathan Hopkins for undergoing such an upsetting ordeal.  

H/T: Irish Mirror