Prisoner Suicide Was Preventable

The suicide of a woman in Maghaberry prison in March 2004 could have been prevented, a jury has found. The coroner’s court heard the prison system failed Roseanne Irvine, 34, who was found hanging in her cell, even though she was on suicide watch.

The jury found there was a severe lack of communication, a failure to manage the suicide watch system, and a lack of health care for female prisoners. The coroner is to write to the Prison Service head and the NI secretary.

John Leckey said he would be asking them to give appropriate consideration to the points raised by the jury.

Ms Irvine suffered from mental problems and alcohol dependency, and had tried to kill herself before while in custody. The mother of a young daughter was on remand on an arson charge when she died.