Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Former Council Chair struck down with meningitis

A Sinn Fein councillor and former chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is seriously ill in hospital with meningitis, the Examiner has learned.

Naomi Bailie (30) was diagnosed with the disease early last week and was admitted to hospital on Wednesday.

Councillor Bailie is a political advisor to Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard and represents her party in the Downpatrick area.  She served as inaugural chair of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council before stepping down from the role earlier this year to have her first child and recently gave birth to her son, Niadh.

Fellow South Down Sinn Fein councillor Willie Clarke said everyone is shocked and concerned at Councillor Bailie’s sudden illness.

“It’s a very worrying time for everyone – her friends, colleagues and family circle,” he said.  “There’s been a huge outpouring of support and concern for her on social media.  We’re all very shocked and concerned for Naomi, and are hoping she will make a full and speedy recovery.”

Speaking on behalf of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, chair Gillian Fitzpatrick sent a message of support to Councillor Bailie and her family.

“We are very sorry to hear about this terrible news of Councillor Naomi Bailie’s sudden illness,” Ms Fitzpatrick said.  “The thoughts of all at the council are with Naomi, her family and friends.  We sincerely hope she makes a full and speedy recovery.”

Ms Bailie is also a member of the Sinn Fein enterprise and investment steering group, and is a regional Child Protection Officer for the party.