Northern Ireland news

Daughter of west Belfast crash victim Seamus Conlon says family left traumatised as man pleads guilty to causing his death

Kay Conlon (left)and daughter Geraldine at the family home. Picture by Hugh Russell.

THE DAUGHTER of west Belfast pensioner Seamus Conlon, who was knocked down and killed by a speeding stolen car, told of her relief yesterday that the court case had ended - but said the family had been left traumatised by his untimely death.

Speaking after Michael Loughran admitted causing her father's death by crashing into him in a stolen vehicle as he left a funeral, Geraldine Conlon said: "Our lives will never be the same again, without him."

Mr Conlon (70) was one of three men struck on Whiterock Road shortly after noon on Saturday August 3.

The grandfather and father-of-two had been attending the funeral of his friend Raymond 'Micky' Walker and was walking along the road outside the cemetery when he was hit.

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, Geraldine and other members of her family were left with no choice but to attend yesterday's remote hearing at Belfast Crown Court via a videolink.

"We're all angry at having to sit and listen to it at home. It's not the same as attending court. But we're relieved that he admitted it," she said.

When asked about Loughran's apology, she said: "No. We're not accepting it."

Kay Conlon and family spoke of their relief that Michael Loughran admitted his guilt but said the family had been left tramatised by the death of Seamus Conlon. Picture by Hugh Russell.

"This has been going on for a year. He was caught at the scene. We thought it would have been done and dusted before now. We've not been able to grieve properly because this has been hanging over our heads.

"We got a bit of justice today, but it will never bring my daddy back. The way he was taken from us was just horrendous.

"He went to the funeral on Saturday morning and we didn't get him home again until the Monday morning. We weren't even allowed to touch him in the coffin."

Geraldine revealed her father became a great-grandfather for the first time a month before he died. She also revealed she has a precious final photograph taken of her father as he attended the funeral, just before his death.

Seamus Conlon Picture by Hugh Russell.

She said: "Him and my mum Kay were together from they were 15. Last year the two of them hit 70, and all she has now are photos of him.

"It was the first anniversary of his death last week. It's a terrible loss for all of us, but for her it's worse."

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