Belfast Telegraph

Father of woman killed by stolen car visits grieving family of Seamus Conlon

Grieving dad Peter Gow
Grieving dad Peter Gow
Lisa Gow

By Gillian Halliday

The heartbroken dad of a young woman killed by a stolen car has revealed he has reached out to the widow of a west Belfast man who died last week after being hit by a vehicle.

Seamus Conlon (70) was laid to rest on Thursday after an incident outside the City Cemetery on the Whiterock Road after attending the funeral of a neighbour last weekend.

A 32-year-old Belfast man has since been charged with causing the pensioner's death by dangerous driving.

Hundreds gathered at Corpus Christi Church to pay their respects to the married father-of-three.

During the funeral service parish priest Fr Patrick McCafferty praised the family of Belfast mother-of-two Lisa Gow who was killed by the driver of a stolen vehicle last April.

He thanked the Gow family for offering support to Mr Conlon's grieving widow Kay and their children Geraldine, Seamus and Thomas.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph yesterday, Lisa's father Peter Gow revealed he had visited the scene of the collision to lay flowers in Mr Conlon's memory, as well as personally delivering a sympathy card to the family home.

"It was so close to what had happened to my daughter, and as a family we had got support from that area and I wanted to return that by passing on my condolences," he said.

"I wanted to do it. What happened brought back all the memories. It's unfortunate, incidents like that shouldn't be happening... Cars are powerful weapons."

Mr Gow added: "We appreciated people who didn't know us, people we had never heard of, contacting us, so we thought it only right as a family we should send a card over."

He added: "I called at the home and I was introduced to Kay. She appreciated the gesture. I think she was still in shock and was on autopilot. I was still in shock myself weeks after."

Lisa, who was in her 30s, had just taken her two children Olivia and Riley to school when she was hit by a stolen Audi A4 car which was being chased by police vehicles in north Belfast on April 19, 2018.

Last month Belfast man Martin Alexander Nelson (40) was sentenced to 11-years for causing the young mother's death.

Meanwhile, court proceedings are under way against Michael Patrick Loughran, from the Glenties Drive area, who is accused of a number of offences in connection to Mr Conlon's death.

Loughran faces two counts of causing grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving, driving while unfit due to drink or drugs, aggravated vehicle taking causing injury or death and having no insurance.

The defendant - who has not admitted any of the charges - is due in court again next month.

Mr Gow (64) said having endured the justice process themselves, he knows first-hand what lies ahead for Mr Conlon's loved ones, stressing the pain of his daughter's loss is as fresh as ever nearly 16 months on.

"It's very raw. It's still the first thing I think of when I wake up in the mornings. The last thing you think of going to bed, and if you wake up, that's it. You don't even think of trying to go back to sleep because it isn't going to happen," he revealed.

He added: "We're all sort of coping... Lisa's children are doing great."

Mr Gow said he appreciated the kind words spoken by Fr McCafferty.

"I got a wee message over the internet that the priest had mentioned that and would be saying a prayer," he revealed.

Mr Gow urged the Conlon family to "stay strong" as they continue to grieve their own loss.

"Memories are all that I've got and they should hold onto theirs," he said.

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