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I'll always love you mum... daughter's poignant tribute to woman who fell to her death

Family's anguish as police probe circumstances of hospital tragedy

Published 21/05/2016

Craigavon hospital where Anita Rooney fell to her death
Craigavon hospital where Anita Rooney fell to her death
Anita Rooney

The heartbroken daughter of a Co Tyrone woman who fell to her death in hospital has described how she will love her mother always.

Natalie Rooney paid a heartfelt tribute to Anita, who fell from a fourth floor landing at Craigavon hospital at around 2pm on Wednesday.

The 50-year-old, a highly respected businesswoman specialising in the recruitment sector, was described as a "true lady" and a "friend to everyone".

Her funeral will take place today at St Patrick's Church in Dungannon and she will be buried in Carland Road Cemetery.

Hundreds of tributes have been paid to the mother-of-three, who was originally from Maghery in Co Armagh.

She was married to Michael, and was mother to Thomas, Natalie and Chloe.

Writing on her social media page, Natalie said: "To my mother, I will always be your wee love and little petite cute Anita's daughter. I love you always."

Mrs Rooney's sister, Noelle McAlinden, also posted a heart-felt tribute, which read: "We are so, so sad and heartbroken to have lost our beautiful sister Anita Rooney (nee McAlinden), an amazing wife and mother, an inspiration and so talented. May she rest in peace."

A police spokesman said: "Police are investigating the sudden death of a 50-year-old female at Craigavon Area Hospital. The death was reported to police at 2pm on Wednesday, May 18."

It is understood that police are treating the incident as suicide. The Southern Health and Social Care Health Trust called it a "tragic incident".

A Trust spokesman added: "We can confirm the tragic incident involving the death of a patient at Craigavon Area Hospital.

"We are co-operating fully with the PSNI investigation."

The Craigavon hospital provides a range of services including acute inpatient services and outpatient services. It is understood that those at the hospital who witnessed the incident are being offered counselling.

A spokesman for the Police Ombudsman confirmed they are not investigating the incident. "The PSNI notified us of this incident, but after making initial enquiries we have concluded that at this stage it does not fall within the Office's remit for further investigation."

There have also been calls for a public inquiry into the sudden death. The DUP MP for Upper Bann, David Simpson, said he is to meet with Paula Clarke, the interim chief executive of the Southern Health Trust, following the news, adding that he will call for a full inquiry into the incident.

"Firstly, I want to express my deepest condolences to the family as they come to terms with what happened at Craigavon Area Hospital.

"This is devastating news which has certainly rocked the hospital community, including staff and patients," he said.

Mr Simpson added: "I do not have the full details, but I am due to meet with the interim chief executive in the coming days, at which time I will be expressing the need for a detailed inquiry."

Many people took to social media to pay tribute to Anita, with many describing her as a "bubbly, lovely" woman.

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