Inquest told of woman's depression
A woman who died when she stepped in front of an oncoming train was failed by the mental health services, her husband told an inquest yesterday.
The family and friends of Anne Rooney (47) from Fairways in Donabate, Co Dublin, were so concerned for her safety that they petitioned Minister for Health Dr James Reilly, who had been her GP many years earlier, to get her more help.
Ms Rooney died on December 15th, 2011.
Dublin Coroner’s Court heard Ms Rooney and her husband Seamus lost their son Colm (19) to bone cancer in July 2011, while she was an in-patient at St Ita’s psychiatric hospital. The couple have one other son, David, a top runner.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr Declan Murray told the court Ms Rooney had a history of depression and had been struggling with the condition since early 2010. She made several attempts to take her own life in the months before her death, including one serious overdose incident in October. She was admitted to Joyce Rooms (formerly St Ita’s) following the overdose but discharged a few days later. She was being seen as an outpatient on a daily basis when she died.
Dr Murray said eight days before her death in a meeting with Ms Rooney and her immediate family it was decided to try to secure a place in a respite facility but none was available. Her family and friends were in correspondence with Dr Reilly’s office in the months before she died seeking help with her care.
However, coroner Dr Brian Farrell said that references to the Minister for Health and other issues contained in some depositions from family and friends could not be heard because they were outside the court’s jurisdiction.
Mr Rooney said the health services had failed his wife. “I believe Anne was seriously ill when she died and had lost all control of her thoughts and self-control. She was let down by the health services.”
The jury returned a verdict of death by suicide.