Belfast Telegraph

Valerie Armstrong's family going ahead with holiday, says heartbroken dad

By Stephanie Bell

The heartbroken husband of tragic Valerie Armstrong has vowed to go ahead with a family holiday for the sake of the couple's three children.

In what should have been a week of excitement, packing suitcases and planning trips out and about, the Poleglass family were instead burying a much-loved wife and mother.

Valerie (35), who died last Wednesday after she was hit by a scrambler bike as she walked her dog in a forest park in the west of the city the day before, was laid to rest on Monday.

Her husband of 11 years, Seamus, and her three children, Dylan (10), Lucy (7) and five-year-old Sophie-Belle, who is due to start primary school in September, will this week go ahead with the family holiday in an effort to ease their pain.

Seamus came to the decision for the sake of his children, believing it would be good for them to get away.

Last night, Fr Vincent Cushnahan, from the Church of the Nativity where the funeral mass for the mother was held on Monday, explained: "It is a very difficult time, and the family had been looking forward to their holiday and visiting Valerie's family in Westmeath. Seamus decided for Valerie's sake - and for the children - that they should go ahead with it, and they will be leaving later this week for a week away that hopefully will do them good."

His colleague, Father Pat Sheehan, described the days following the tragedy as "hard and harrowing" for the family.

Fr Sheehan added that Mrs Armstrong's "terrible" death, over which a 17-year-old youth has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving and having no insurance, "could have been avoided and should have been avoided".

"These choices can and have devastating consequences, even though that was never intended," the priest explained.

"These choices are destroying lives - both the lives of people like Valerie and the lives of young people responsible."

The family drew some comfort from fulfilling Valerie's wishes to donate her organs and help others after her death.

Belfast Telegraph


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