Eastbourne legend ‘Irish Annie’ died in night

Ann Mannion SUS-150204-105439001 SUS-151009-112748001
Ann Mannion SUS-150204-105439001 SUS-151009-112748001

A popular woman died in the night after her heart just stopped beating, an inquest has heard.

Anne Mannion, 64, also known as Irish Annie, died on March 22 after returning to her home on Pevensey Road from an evening out with friends.

She was found the following day by Richard Empy, a close friend and the manager at the Debenhams restaurant where Anne had worked for around 35 years.

Mr Empy, who knew Anne for more than 25 years, said he became concerned when she didn’t turn up for her shift as she was always between 15 and 20 minutes early.

By 12pm on March 23 Mr Empy was so concerned for his colleague’s welfare he went to her home and with the help of a neighbour forced Anne’s door open.

They found her lying on the bed.

Coroner Alan Craze said to Mr Empy, “It’s good you were sufficiently concerned to go and find her.”

The inquest also heard a statement from Anne’s sister, Maire, who had travelled from Ireland to attend.

She said, “Anne had lots of friends and saw no harm in anyone, she could not see the bad in anyone.

“Her work friends were like family to her.”

She also told the inquest how Anne regularly visited friends in hospital and enjoyed playing bingo.

Born in Ennis in County Clare Ireland, Anne was one of six children – three boys and three girls.

After living with her aunt and uncle in Limerick for several years, Anne returned to Ennis to begin work in a hotel where she stayed for nearly a decade.

Anne later moved to Eastbourne, planning on leaving for America, but ended up settling in the town first working behind the bar at the Cheviot Pub in Seaside Road and later the Debenhams restaurant .

On the night of her death Anne had been out with friends in Eastbourne.

Neighbours saw Anne return to her home supported by a man who left shortly after getting Anne home, the inquest heard.

Her heart stopped later the same night,

Medical examiners found a high blood alcohol level was likely the main cause of death but a heart related condition could have been a contributing factor.

The coroner recorded a conclusion of drink related death.

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