One of Belfast’s best-known barmen has paid a moving tribute to his beloved wife and daughter who tragically died just three days apart.
Paddy McAnerney lost his daughter Joanne (40) after she collapsed suddenly during a birthday party at Colin Mill Lodge in Poleglass on Friday night.
The mother-of-three, who is survived by two teenagers and a two-year-old child, is thought to have suffered a suspected heart attack.
And on Monday another devastating blow was dealt to the McAnerney family when Paddy’s 65-year-old wife Anne lost her battle with lung cancer.
She had been diagnosed with the disease over two years ago.
Following the double tragedy, Mr McAnerney, who was bar manager at the Europa Hotel for 30 years, said his wife and daughter were due to be buried side by side today.
“Anne was a great fighter and she had great support from her grandchildren and family,” he said, adding that mother and daughter were “very close”.
After giving her mother the required medication, Mr McAnerney, from west Belfast, said Joanne left their home at 10pm, promising to return by midnight.
But tragedy struck, and he described the heartbreaking moment he had to tell his wife that their daughter Joanne had died suddenly.
Local celebrity John Linehan, aka May McFettridge, said Paddy had been a close friend for many years. “I am devastated for his loss,” Mr Linehan said.
Requiem Mass will be held for Anne and Joanne at the Church of the Nativity in Poleglass, after which they will be buried at Blaris cemetery in Lisburn.