Coronavirus: 'I didn't get to kiss my mum goodbye'

Image source, Brenda Doherty
Image caption,
Brenda Doherty said her mother Ruth was a strong woman

The daughter of the fourth person in Northern Ireland to die with coronavirus has described her heartbreak at not being able to kiss her goodbye.

Ruth Burke, 82, passed away last night in Antrim Area Hospital and her family has asked for her to be named.

They said she was simply unable to fight the disease.

Because coronavirus is so contagious, those who die with it must be placed in closed coffins.

Mrs Burke's daughter Brenda said the family did not want her simply to be remembered as a statistic.

She said it was heartbreaking not to be able to see her in her coffin and kiss her goodbye.

Brenda Doherty told BBC Radio Ulster's Talkback her mother was a "strong woman" and a "loving mother".

She said: "She lived for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren - they put smiles on her face.

"There is a frustration that people don't understand, they're not being respectful of what they're told."

In a video posted on her Facebook page, Ms Doherty said her mother had an "unbelievable strength and suffered many challenges in her life".

"Unfortunately this was one she was not going to overcome," she added.

'We can do something'

Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said her "heart goes out" to the family of Mrs Burke.

She said: "We have an ability as a people to do something right now that would minimise the number of people that will be sitting today like Brenda and her family, having lost a loved one.

"We can do that, we can stop the spread of the virus by taking action, by being responsible, by taking the public health advice."