Injured son praised after mum's murder

Injured son praised after mum's murder

The injured son of murder victim Concepta Leonard has been praised for his courage in the moments after he and his mother were stabbed at their home.

Monday's attack is believed to have been carried out by Mrs Leonard's former partner, whose body was also found at the County Fermanagh house.

The funeral of Mrs Leonard, 51, is taking place in Brookeborough.

Her son Conor, who has Down's syndrome, is thought to have summoned help via an alert system installed in their home.

Fr Lawrence Dawson spoke to BBC News NI ahead of Mrs Leonard's funeral.


The priest described Conor as "very courageous", and explained how the injured 30-year-old had pressed an alarm button which summoned the emergency services to the scene within minutes.

Injured son praised after mum's murder

In his funeral homily at St Mary's Church on Friday, parish priest Fr Brendan Gallagher said Conor "is our future and our reason to hope".

"Thankfully he survived the ordeal of Monday, because he is the one who will lead us all on the journey of recovery," he told mourners.

"His love and his affection will be a source of healing for all, he is the light that will renew the spirit of hope in our lives."

Fr Gallagher said Mrs Leonard had suffered an horrific death.

He said people would be asking why such a terrible thing happen to such a beautiful person.

Injured son praised after mum's murder

"But we know that Connie would not want family or friends, thinking or feeling that way. Because for her, she had Conor with her, and that was the most important person she wanted with her at that moment," he said.

"The circumstances and the tragedy of Connie's death, cannot destroy the love that was in her heart and soul. The love that all of you, family and friends, received from her."

Conor, who had been stabbed in the stomach, also witnessed the attack on his mother at their home in Maguiresbridge.

Injured son praised after mum's murder

Mrs Leonard, 51, died at the scene but Conor was taken to hospital where he received stitches for his wounds.

The injured man attended his mother's wake on Thursday night and is being comforted by his grandfather and other relatives.

The funeral of suspect Peadar Phair took place on Thursday and Fr Dawson said his family were finding it very difficult to come to terms with the tragedy.

Injured son praised after mum's murder

Mrs Leonard had applied for a non-molestation order on Phair.

She was murdered a day before a court hearing had been due to take place in Enniskillen, in relation to the order.

Police are treating the attack on Conor Leonard as attempted murder.

They are not looking for anyone else in connection with the stabbing.

Mrs Leonard was well-known from her involvement with the Irish music organisation Comhaltas.

She also ran a catering business in Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh.



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