22 December 2005

Jamie-Lee: our grief


The aunt of the St Rose’s pupil who died in Saturday night’s fatal traffic accident speaks movingly of the family’s heartbreak

by Roisin McManus

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The funerals will take place this morning of two young people from West Belfast who were tragically killed in a car crash on the Falls Road at the weekend.

Jamie-Lee Rooney (15) from Springfield Park and 22-year-old Paul McCrory from Gransha Drive were killed in a collision in the early hours of Sunday.

A white Vauxhall Cavalier and a white Mercedes taxi collided on the bad bend near St Louise’s Comprehensive College at 2am.

Several people are still in hospital following the crash. One of the injured is critically ill, one seriously ill and three people remain in a stable condition in the Royal Victoria Hospital.

Three other people also involved in the crash have been discharged from hospital in the past few days.

Jamie Lee’s family has spoken of the bubbly teenager’s “passion for life”.
The tragic schoolgirl is survived by her mother Margariette, father Bernard and seven-year-old twin sisters Carla and Christina.

Speaking to the Andersonstown News, the St Rose’s pupil’s aunt, Sharon McCartney, said that the family were numb with grief.

“She loved life and was a performer, she loved being the centre of attention and was always smiling,” said Sharon.

“She was very outgoing and a very popular girl.

“She loved Christmas, it was the happiest time of her life and she was really looking forward to it.

“She had asked for a new phone for Christmas and after she died her mum opened the present for her and put it in her hands in the coffin,” she added.
Sharon said that the family are finding it hard to deal with their grief and added that they do not know much about the circumstances leading to the accident.

“Her mummy just lived for Jamie-Lee,” she added.

The principal of St Rose’s High School has paid tribute to pupil Jamie-Lee.
Teresa McNamee said that the Year 12 pupil was bright and creative.
“Jamie Lee was in the top stream in her class, she had great potential and loved drama, she also liked PE,” said Teresa.

“She was recently out on work experience at Dubbeljoint and was very bright and bubbly.

“The staff and her classmates at St. Rose’s are devastated and the girls had to be sent home on Monday.

“There is a crescendo of grief in the school.

“We will try and support the family in any way we can,” she added.
Jamie-Lee’s funeral will take place at the Church of the Annunciation at 11am and Paul’s funeral will take place at 11am in Corpus Christi Church.

Jamie-Lee’s father, Bernard, was yesterday refused compassionate leave from Maghaberry prison to attend the funeral. See previous article

Journalist:: Roisin McManus

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