Jordan McConomy's mum says college award has eased pain after tragic death
The mother of a 19-year-old student who died during an altercation in the street, has said an award recognising his achievements has helped her deal with her grief.
There were poignant scenes during graduations at the North West Regional College as the sister of Jordan McConomy accepted a posthumous award in his honour.
Mr McConomy had been studying a level 3 qualification in carpentry and joinery at NWRC's Springtown Campus when his life was tragically ended in September 2017.
He suffered fatal injuries during an altercation in the William Street area of Londonderry during the early hours of September 24, 2017.
An 18-year-old man arrested in connection with the incident was later released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service.
Mr McConomy's's sister Zara received the award, watched by other family members - including his mother Andrena, father Paul, girlfriend Leah Kelly and grandmother Lily.
Speaking afterwards, Andrena McConomy said she was honoured that her son was remembered by the college.
She said: "I am deeply moved that North West Regional College have decided to remember Jordan with this special award, on a day when so many of his fellow students have also been awarded prizes.
"Recognising and celebrating Jordan's achievements has meant a lot to the family and helped us as we come to terms with his loss. Jordan loved his time at the Springtown Campus, he had many friends there, and was looking forward to completing his course and going on to work in joinery.
"We as a family are very grateful to have this award to remember Jordan and we are glad that we were able to be here today to collect it on his behalf."
After the award was presented by NWRC's head of Training and Skills, Karen Moore, tributes to Mr McConomy were also paid to him by his former lecturer and employer.
Brian Glenn, who taught the 19 year-old at Springtown, said: "Jordan was an exceptional student who was well liked and respected by the staff and students at the college. He had a very mature approach to his studies and I have no doubt with his talent and skill he would have gone far.
"The college would have liked to be giving the award to Jordan himself today, however we are grateful to the McConomy family for allowing us the opportunity to remember and pay our respects to a special young man."
John Hannaway of JJ Joinery, the company which employed Jordan as part of his course at NWRC, described him as accomplished young man with a strong work ethic.
He said: "Jordan was a wonderful person to be around and always wanted to learn more.
"He gave 100% to every task put in front of him and was extremely gifted in the field of joinery.
"He is sadly missed by his friends at JJ Joinery and the many customers he worked with."
Before his death, Mr McConomy had been making plans along with girlfriend Leah Kelly to leave Derry and make a new life together.
Once Mr McConomy's apprenticeship ended they planed to emigrate to America, where Jordan had expectations of working as a joiner, while Ms Kelly intended to study nursing at university.