Northern Ireland news

Scotland police examine Northern Ireland woman's death after falling ill at party for Lord Steel's son

Claire MacCabe

POLICE in Scotland are examining the death of a Northern Ireland woman who became unwell at a party thrown by the son of former Liberal leader Lord Steel.

Claire MacCabe (44) died in hospital after taking ill at Graeme Steel's home in the village of Stow in the Scottish Borders on Saturday.

Police Scotland said the death was being treated as unexplained but not suspicious.

Ms MacCabe was understood to be ­originally from Northern Ireland but had lived in Scotland for several years.

It was reported that she fell ill during a 52nd birthday party for her friend Graeme, son of the former politician David Steel.

Graeme said he was "devastated" by Ms MacCabe's tragic death.

"Matt has lost his wife and their child has lost their mother. Words cannot express how we all feel by this loss," he said in a statement.

"However, the MacCabe family (and their friends) deserve to be left alone in peace to deal with this awful situation and we would appreciate if all sections of the media would respect their wishes."

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "Police in the Scottish Borders are investigating after a 44-year-old woman took unwell at an address in Stow during the evening of Saturday September 1, before passing away at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh later that night.

"The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not suspicious, and inquiries are continuing."

Lord Steel was Liberal leader for 12 years and spent 32 years as an MP before serving as the first presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament.

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