| 24.3°C Belfast

Widow tells of grief over crash victim Matthew Arnold who had just become a new father


Matthew and Ciara Arnold on their wedding day

Matthew and Ciara Arnold on their wedding day

Matthew and Ciara Arnold on their wedding day

The heartbroken wife of a young motorcyclist who died following a two-vehicle crash has promised that their three-week-old baby daughter will grow up loving him.

Matthew Arnold (24) from Donaghcloney was killed three days ago.

His bike collided with a car on the Lurgan Road, Dromore, at its junction with the Blackskull Road.

He is the third and youngest son to be taken from distraught parents Hertford and Phyllis in tragic circumstances.

Matthew's grieving wife Ciara, who is in her early 20s, said he was her "perfect angel", adding that words cannot convey the extent of her love for him.

"We just didn't have enough time together but God wanted him home," she said.

"I will do my everything to bring Eve up to know how amazing, loving, kind, God-fearing and genuine he was.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

"We were so lucky to have him for the time we did and we can't wait to meet him again in Heaven."

Ciara, who brought little Eve Jean, their first child, into the world just three weeks ago, said it was a "great comfort" knowing that Matthew is waiting for both of them in a better place.

"I am going to miss looking at his handsome face every day," she added.

"He was perfect in every way."

Rev Ian Kenny, who had known Matthew since he was a baby, said he grew up to be "quite a character with a great sense of humour".

"He was a such a pleasant and thoughtful young man," the minister said.

"It is true to say that he loved everyone around him and everyone loved him."

Describing Matthew as "a fine young Christian man", Rev Kenny said his young widow was now being supported by her close-knit family, including her parents Stephen and Beverley Beattie, and wide circle of friends.

He also paid tribute to the couple's parents whom he said have a strong Christian faith and are drawing "a tremendous comfort from the hope of the gospel".

The Free Presbyterian minister said Matthew "has left behind a strong Christian testimony" as well as "many precious memories that his loved ones will cherish in the days ahead".

Matthew was killed on Tuesday after his bike collided with a silver Toyota Avensis at around 6.30pm.

He leaves behind his wife, parents and an older brother, Ford, who is married to Niki with whom he has three children. Matthew's other brothers, the late Thomas and Wensley, both disabled, contracted an infection and died over 20 years ago.

Mr and Mrs Arnold, who run Cottage Catering Ltd, subsequently spoke of their loss in a book entitled Some Party In Heaven.

The book by Noel Davison was published in 1995.

In it the Arnolds tell how their oldest son, aged six, died and then their third son, aged three, was also taken from them nine days later.

It is understood that Matthew's funeral will take place this weekend.

The family have requested that it be strictly private.

Please log in or register with belfasttelegraph.co.uk for free access to this article.

Already have an account?

Top Videos