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West Belfast family 'ripped apart' by sudden deaths of brother and sister

West Belfast woman Georgina McGahey (42) was a mother-of-seven
Marie Louise McConville

A west Belfast family will come together today to bury a mother-of-seven, just weeks after the sudden death of her brother.

Georgina McGahey (42) was found unresponsive at a house in the Lagmore area on Saturday morning.

The 42-year-old, known as 'Gina', was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital but died on Monday in the intensive care unit, where her younger brother Patrick had died just four weeks earlier.

The McGahey family said the 37-year-old had suffered a head injury in a fall at home in Devenish Court at the end of August.

The father-of-two was taken to hospital but died a week later, on September 4.

Following Requiem Mass today, Georgina will be laid to rest with her brother in the family plot in Milltown Cemetery.

Their sister Annmarie McGahey said the family had been left "distraught" following the two deaths.

"We are heartbroken," she said.

"It has just torn our family apart."

Annmarie described Georgina - whose children range in age from 24 to six - as someone who was "full of love".

"She was a lovely, bubbly, outgoing person."

She said the grandmother would have done "anything for anybody".

"She was lovable and generous. She was very affectionate. She talked to everyone, she was well known to everybody. She wouldn't have passed you without saying hello. She was the best in the world."

Annmarie said she was also a brilliant mother.

"Everything she did, she did it for her kids.

"She was one of the best. She was unique and one of a kind."

The family also gathered together yesterday at Patrick's grave to mark what would have been his 38th birthday.

Annmarie said Patrick was "at the centre of the family".

"He was brilliant," she said.

"He would sleg the life out of you. He was always up for a laugh. He would always play tricks on you."

The 39-year-old said the deaths of Patrick and Georgina so soon after each other had "torn our family apart".

"We are distraught. We are heartbroken," she said.

"It has just crumbled the family. It has absolutely ripped us apart.

"My mummy's wee heart is smashed into bits. We just feel numb."

Requiem Mass for Georgina McGahey will take place at 10am today at St Peter's Cathedral.

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