independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Ambassador Dan Rooney flies to US after death of daughter

THE American ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney has returned to the US due to the tragic death of his daughter.

Mr Rooney was forced to fly home on Monday after the death of Rita Rooney Conway.

The 80-year-old ambassador, whose family owns the Pittsburgh Steelers, learnt the news over the weekend.

Rita Rooney Conway, who lived in Milton, Massachusetts, was married with a son.

She previously spoke about the family's strong ties in an interview exploring their connection with the Steelers American football team.

"He instilled so many solid values in his family about hard work, perseverance, and faith," she said in tribute to her father.

Her sudden death is the second tragedy for Mr Rooney and his wife Patricia. The couple also lost their daughter Kathleen when she was just 31 years old. She was credited as the driving force behind her father's interest in tracing the Rooney ancestry to Co Mayo.

Mr Rooney will spend the rest of this week, at least, in the US dealing with arrangements for his daughter's funeral.

It means that he will be unavailable to assist US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her visit to Dublin, which is due to begin tomorrow. She is visiting as part of a ministerial meeting of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Irish Independent

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