Belfast Telegraph

Fermanagh murder-suicide: Injured disabled son Conor wants to carry mum Connie's coffin

Victim's dad: 'We have to accept what God sends us'

By Claire Williamson

A disabled man, who was injured as he tried to protect his mother who was killed in a murder-suicide in Maguiresbridge, has said he wants to carry his mother's coffin.

Connie Leonard died after a frenzied attack carried out by her ex- partner Peadar Phair - who not only killed her but also tried to murder her disabled son before taking his own life.

Conor was injured as he tried to save his mother from her 55-year-old killer and is set to be released from hospital on Wednesday.

Read more: Fermanagh murder: Connie Leonard's disabled son fought with mum's killer Peadar Phair

The 30-year-old who has Down's syndrome was hailed a hero for struggling with Phair before he was stabbed by his mother's estranged partner in the stomach.

It's understood that Phair attempted to kill himself but was still alive after Conor managed to raise the alarm - though paramedics were later unable to save the killer.

Parish priest Father Lawrence Dawson of St Mary's Catholic Church in Brookeborough, told BBC Talkback that Conor wants to carry the coffin at her funeral.

He also revealed that Connie's father told him "we have to accept what God sends us".

Fr Dawson said: "Conor, he was a very bubbly lad and worked in a local supermarket packing shelves.

"He was injured and he's getting out of hospital today (Wednesday) and said he wants to carry the coffin.

"With the help of family and community I'm sure he'll be able to cope.

"It brings out the best in people in a sense that people are rallying around the family and offering every possible support.

"In a small rural community everyone knows everyone else.

"The faith dimension is very important. Connie's father said last night 'we have to accept what god sends us'.

"The ability to accept this tragedy with faith and courage."

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