Belfast Telegraph

Family of murdered Connie Leonard tell of pride in 'inspirational' son Conor

By Rachel Martin

Family members have said Fermanagh murder victim Concepta Leonard's son has been an "inspiration".

Concepta 'Connie' Leonard's disabled boy Conor fought with killer Peadar Phair as he stabbed her to death before taking his own life last Monday.

The 51-year-old victim was stabbed in the bedroom of her home near Maguiresbridge a week ago.

The talented musician had applied for a non-molestation order against Phair. Conor (30), who has Down's syndrome, raised the alarm with the emergency services despite also being knifed by Phair.

Ms Leonard was buried in Brookeborough on Friday.

Her brother Fergal said the family had been strengthened by messages of support, and added that Conor's actions had been an inspiration to them.

Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster, he said: "There's a very close-knit community in Brookeborough. It's a small village and people through the years have always helped people out, but there's been support from right across the country - we have even had messages from people we have never met and probably never will meet.

"But it's a great source of strength to the family that there's lots of people who care about us.

"We are all members of a family and no matter how a person dies it affects everybody the same way - just tragic - it's very sad losing a loved one.

"I will remember Connie as a great sister, someone I could chat to and share things with.

"She was a really talented girl, and just a great mother and a great sister.

"It's been well documented how good a girl Connie was; she was just so good to everyone.

"She was a bubbly, happy person, very talented girl, she was a great mother and just a natural home-maker.

"Conor is making steady progress. It's going to be difficult for him but he seems to have his own way of dealing with things, and fair play to him, he's taking things a step at a time. He's been an inspiration to all our family and friends and to lots of people who are looking at this sad situation.

"Since the day he was born we've always been very proud of him and that continues. Conor may have gifts that we don't even know he has; he has a great network of friends and family."

He added: "Conor's like any other son or daughter to their mother. Every parent thinks very highly of their sons and their daughters, and Conor's no different."

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