| 13.1°C Belfast

Broadcaster Rose Neill mourns death of her much-loved mum after battle with Alzheimer's


BBC presenter Rose Neill and her mother Doreen

BBC presenter Rose Neill and her mother Doreen

Rose with her parents on a skiing holiday

Rose with her parents on a skiing holiday


BBC presenter Rose Neill and her mother Doreen

Popular broadcaster Rose Neill is in mourning after the death of her beloved mother Doreen Neill-Johnston, aged 85.

Ms Neill-Johnston, a well-known socialite, died peacefully on Thursday at Beechvale Nursing Home in Killinchy, Co Down.

Rose was very close to her mother and told the Belfast Telegraph in 2014 of her agony as her mother's Alzheimer's meant she couldn't recognise her own family.

Ms Neill-Johnston was wife to the late Roger HJ Neill and Edward I Johnston and mother to Maxine, Peter and Rose, as well as being a grandmother.

Her funeral service will be held in Kilmood Parish Church, Killinchy, on Friday, June 3 and donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Queen's University Belfast Foundation (Professor Passmore's Dementia Research).

Doreen's first husband Roger was a shipping and coal importing company owner and the family enjoyed parties, boating and travel.

"My parents threw the most fantastic parties and they made sure that as children we really enjoyed our lives to the full.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

"We were taken to the races, hunting, shooting, boating, fishing, travelling and it was idyllic," Rose said in a previous interview.

"She was very glamorous and slim and always beautifully dressed and threw the most lovely dinner parties.

"She was master of the fox hounds and right up until her 70s she loved to snow and water ski, sub aqua dive, swim and ride horses. She was exceptionally fit and she instilled in all of us that love for a physical, sporting life."

In 2006 Rose Neill told the Belfast Telegraph: "Mum was always very close to all of us - and still is today. Mum was a stay at home mum, but a very pretty, glamorous one.

"I suppose she remembered the war, when food and clothes were rationed, and then came the Sixties, with all its high fashion and liberation and fun. Mum was always brilliantly turned out. I can picture her yet in these little Chanel suits. Even today, mum looks great. She has a good figure and isn't afraid to put on a swimsuit and go swimming in Strangford Lough."

Top Videos