‘We have lost our Queen’: Fourth person to die in Northern Ireland after testing positive for coronavirus passes away at Antrim Hospital

Antrim Area Hospital.

A HEARTBROKEN daughter has told how her family have lost their ‘queen’ after her mum tested positive for coronavirus and passed away at Antrim Area Hospital.

Great-grandmother Ruth Burke (82) has become the fourth person to die in Northern Ireland because of Covid-19.

This is the saddest of times as a family we are devastated and heartbroken 💔💔💔💔💔

Posted by Brenda Doherty on Tuesday, 24 March 2020


Her daughter Brenda Doherty  told the BBC her mum had been in hospital for a number of days and was due to get out on Friday but there was difficulty in getting a care package put in place.

Ruth Burke


Ruth Burke then developed a very high temperature and was diagnosed as being positive for coronavirus.

Ruth had been singing with nurses on Mother’s Day at the hospital but she passed away over night on Monday/Tuesday.

In an emotional interview, Brenda told the BBC on Tuesday her family had lost “their queen”.

She said: “She was the queen of our family.”

Ruth was a mother of five, a grandmother and a great-grandmother.

Brenda said she could not praise the staff enough.

Brenda added: “I don’t want my mum to be a statistic because she wasn’t, she was a loving mother, she was a strong person. She lived for her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren. She was full of life.

“It is just heart-breaking.”

She said her family had “lost their queen”.

Brenda said it was heartbreaking not being able to see her mother in her coffin because of how contagious Covid-19 is.

In an emotional Facebook video post Brenda appealed to people to “wise up” and take the necessary precautions and look after others and not to panic buy.

She said they loved their mother deeply and would miss her very much. She thanked those that had cared for her over the years.

“To those of you out there who are being so selfish and gathering in crowds wise up .. how selfish can you be?

“Now we are not going to get to see mum for a celebration of her life. We are not going to have that opportunity.. that day will come.

“We could not be with her when she passed. We will not see her in her coffin, we will not get to give her a kiss. But I know we did all that when it mattered.”

She added: “As a family we held together and we kept our mum safe as best we could until we could not keep her safe no more.

“This is a time when we need to think of others.

“If you value life you will stay in and do as you have been asked, because my mum may be the fourth .. but the sad reality is she won’t be the last.”






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