31/01/2011

Portaferry Pensioner's Death 'Unnecessary'

A post mortem examination carried out on Saturday has now established that a 73-year-old Co Down woman had in fact died of natural causes.

The body of Noreen Troupe was found at a house in the High Street area of picturesque Portaferry on Friday afternoon, with a 66-year-old man arrested.

He has since been released from police custody without any charge as it became clear the victim died of hypothermia during the severe winter weather over the Christmas and New Year period.

Local Alliance MLA Ciaran McCarthy said local residents became worried as the pensioner had not been seen for a few days.

"She had been missing and neighbours, as I understand, had been concerned and made efforts to contact her at the house to no avail, but relatives came along and discovered the lady had died," he explained.
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Stormont Junior Minister Robin Newton, the East Belfast DUP MLA, said the unnecessary death of the village's old resident Noreen Troupe from hypothermia confirmed the need for "all of us to place a greater priority on the protection of the most vulnerable in our society".

"It appears the death of Noreen Troupe could have been prevented and like many other older persons the contact with the wider community had seemingly broken down.

"Neighbours had been supportive and until recently it appears she had been an active lady around Portaferry until reports she suffered a fall.

"Her untimely death from the cold weather highlights the dilemma of many elderly in our community. It stresses the need for the raising of the plight of vulnerable persons at the highest levels of Government," he said.

"The appointment of a Commissioner for Older People will help raise the issues and push such matters higher up the political agenda.

"However, the greatest impact can be made by friends and neighbours rallying round to support those, whatever the age, who are most at risk," he suggested.

(BMcC/GK)

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