Son stabbed in murder-suicide attack will carry mum's coffin

Concepta Leonard's funeral is due to take place on Friday
Concepta Leonard's funeral is due to take place on Friday Concepta Leonard's funeral is due to take place on Friday

THE funeral is due to take place tomorrow of Co Fermanagh woman Concepta Leonard, believed to have been killed by a former partner who then took his own life.

Family and friends will gather in Brookeborough for the service for the 51 year-old mother-of-one at St Mary's Church.

The popular businesswoman, known as Connie, was found dead at her home on Monday afternoon.

Ms Leonard, who was heavily involved in traditional Irish music circles, was discovered with stab wounds at a house in Abbey Road, Maguiresbridge.

Her only son Conor (30), who has Down syndrome, was injured in the horrific attack. It is believed he was stabbed in the abdomen while trying to defend his mother and is understood to be still recovering in hospital.

His grandfather Dinny Leonard, also a well known traditional musician, and other relatives are comforting him following the devastating tragedy. Police are treating the attack on him as attempted murder.

The family's priest said Conor said he wanted to carry his mother's coffin.

"He's said he wants to carry the coffin, so with the help of the family and the community I'm sure he'll be able to cope," Fr Lawrence Dawson said.

It is thought they were attacked by 55-year-old Peadar Phair, a former partner of Ms Leonard whose body was also found at the house.

Phair, had been rushed to hospital after Conor Leonard managed to raise the alarm, but he died a short time later of self inflicted injuries. Police have said they are not seeking anyone else in connection with the tragedy.

The Irish News revealed yesterday that Ms Leonard had been harassed in the months leading up to the murder and had a Non-Molestation Order in place after previous incidents of violence and threats from Phair.

Phair, who lived in Scotland for a time, had previous convictions for violence and had served time in prison for attacking a previous partner.

Ms Leonard is survived by her son Conor, father Dinnie and siblings Fergal, Kieran and Denise.