Belfast Telegraph

Call for probe after 'true lady' Anita Rooney plunges to her death at Northern Ireland hospital

By Cate McCurry

There have been calls for an inquiry into how a popular Co Tyrone businesswoman fell to her death in a Northern Ireland hospital.

Anita Rooney fell from a fourth floor landing at Craigavon hospital at around 2pm on Wednesday.

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

It is understood that police are treating the incident as suicide.

Friends and family yesterday paid tribute to the Dungannon woman, who was married with three children.

Her sister, Geraldine McAlinden - a well-known actress - said the family wanted to thank everyone for their support and kind messages.

She added that the heartbroken family are trying to come to terms with her sudden death.

The DUP MP for Upper Bann, David Simpson, said he is to meet Paula Clarke, the interim chief executive of the Southern Health Trust following the devastating news, adding that he will call for a detailed inquiry into the tragic death.

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

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

"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."

Denise Mullen, an SDLP councillor for the Dungannon area, recalled Mrs Rooney as a "mother and friend to many".

She said: "I recall when my Aunt Annie died, Anita was one of her many neighbours that springs to mind. She was there with a helping hand to sort things out and for that I was always truly grateful to her.

"To her husband, a true gentleman, I offer my condolences and to their children. She had a great, witty sense of humour, the life and soul."

Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA Michelle Gildernew said: "Such an awful tragedy for Anita's family and friends. She was hugely respected in Dungannon and across Tyrone, may she rest in peace."

The Southern Health and Social Care Health Trust called it a "tragic incident".

A 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 wide 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.

Tributes to the mother flooded social media yesterday with many describing her as a "bubbly, lovely" woman.

One Facebook user said: "Rest in peace Anita. Anyone would count themselves lucky to have know you.

"You were the bubbliest character I ever knew, I never spent a minute in your company that I didn't laugh.

"The world is a duller place without you."

Another said: "Never a dull moment in the office with Anita, great, pleasant woman. RIP Anita, thoughts & prayers with kids."

If you are in need of help, you can contact Lifeline on 0808 808 8000 or the Samaritans on 028 9066 4422

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph