In her memory, her family fundraiser for domestic violence victims has surpassed its target
The family of a retired nurse murdered in her own home has shared a video of her dancing at her daughter’s wedding — a reminder of the good times before her life was cruelly stolen.
The recording shows Alyson Nelson spinning around and laughing, images of how her family remember the loving mum.
In the days after the April 16 killing, her children set themselves a £7,000 fundraising target for Women’s Aid.
Donations have so far exceeded the total, with her family praising those who contributed.
Writing on social media, son Mark Downie said: “I wouldn’t normally do anything like this for my birthday, but everything changed for our family exactly one month ago when my mum had her life stolen from her under the cruellest of circumstances in a domestic related homicide.
“So, to try and help highlight this nationwide problem and help raise a few quid, if you would like to help a great cause I’m asking for donations to Women’s Aid.”
Alyson’s ex-partner William Finlay has been charged with her murder via aggravated circumstances under the new Domestic Abuse Bill, which was passed into law this year. He is the first person in Northern Ireland to face this charge.
The 66-year-old, who is on remand at Maghaberry Prison, is accused of stabbing her to death at a property on Victoria Avenue in the Co Antrim coastal town of Whitehead.
The local community united around Alyson’s family in the wake of the killing, with hundreds attending a vigil during which white ribbons were tied to seafront railings.
Her daughter Laura Downie has since shared a recording of Alyson at a family wedding, describing how “this will forever be the best memory of the best day”.
She said: “This video shows a lot of footage of our mum, happy, giving it stacks on the dance-floor and most importantly, so proud of my sister on the day she married her best friend. Even if you didn’t know our mum, you might a little better after watching this.”
Pastor Steve Ames, of Harbour Faith Community in Carrickfergus, has been offering Alyson’s family support.
Speaking at the vigil in her memory, he said: “The grief has just been overwhelming for so many people. As a family, they are stunned, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the kind of grief that they are going through.”
Anyone wishing to make a donation to Women’s Aid in memory of Alyson Nelson should visit: https://www.facebook.com/donate/486407646503879