Northern Ireland

Belfast woman's body in Portuguese morgue for more than three weeks without family and friends being informed

Briege McCourt passed away following an accident in her adopted home of Portugal
Briege McCourt passed away following an accident in her adopted home of Portugal Briege McCourt passed away following an accident in her adopted home of Portugal

A Belfast woman's body was held in a morgue in Portugal for more than three weeks while friends and family believed she was missing.

Briege McCourt (67) was last seen by friends on October 12 near her home on the Algarve on the country's south coast.

However, none of her family or friends were informed she was dead until November 7, according to a person close to Ms McCourt. 

Friends said Ms McCourt's body was found in Faro. She passed away on October 13 as a result of an accident. Her body was repatriated with help from the Kevin Bell Charitable Trust. 

She was a person who "loved Ireland and Portugal" and "loved life and loved" her dogs, one friend said on social media. She was "loved and cared about".

The death notice said Ms McCourt passed away "following an accident in Portugal".

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She was the "loving daughter" of the late Francis and Bridget and dear sister of Eilish, John, James (Australia), Colette, Philip and the late Bernard and Patrick. She was the youngest of the children. 

Requiem Mass will be on Monday at 11.30am at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Carryduff followed by burial in Milltown Cemetery. Donations in lieu of flowers should be made to the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, care of O’Kanes Funeral Directors on Donegal Street.

A friend on social media wrote: "You were a good soul....run free with all the doggies that you loved so much. My heart is into a thousand small pieces. You will always be remembered."