Northern Ireland news

Inquest into death of Concepta Leonard who was killed by ex-partner in Fermanagh to take place in May

An inquest into the death of Concepta Leonard is set to take place this spring (Family handout/PA)
Jonathan McCambridge, PA

An inquest into the death of a Co Fermanagh woman killed by her ex-partner will take place this spring, a coroner has said.

Concepta Leonard, 51, died at her home in Maguiresbridge in May 2017.

Her son, Conor, who has Down’s syndrome and was 30 at the time, was also injured in the attack.

Ms Leonard’s former partner, Peadar Phair, 55, later took his own life in an apparent murder-suicide.

Laganside court
The hearing took place at Laganside Courthouse in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

During a short preliminary hearing at Laganside Courthouse on Monday, coroner Anne-Louise Toal said she was happy at the pace of disclosure in the case, which she said had been a “massive undertaking”.

While the preliminary hearing touched on the deaths of both Ms Leonard and Mr Phair, the coroner has previously indicated that they will be dealt with as two separate inquests.

Counsel for the coroner, Ronan Daly, told the hearing that material had been disclosed from the charity Women’s Aid and CCTV footage had also been made available.

He said progress had been made on assessing GP notes and records for both the deceased.


The barrister also indicated that work was ongoing to disseminate material from the office of the police ombudsman.

The coroner asked about the preparation of a document setting out the scope of the inquest into Ms Leonard’s death.

She said: “I think Mr Phair’s inquest will be rather straightforward.

“I don’t necessarily think we need a scope document in relation to that, however, in relation to Ms Leonard, a scope document would be useful.”

Mr Daly said a witness list had been circulated to properly interested persons.

He added: “As we get closer to the start of the inquest at the end of May, the start of June, we will settle on final daily witnesses.”

Ms Toal said she would list the case for another preliminary hearing on April 18.

She said, by that date, the disclosure process should be completed and asked for the scope document to be agreed.

She said: “By that stage we could have a very meaningful preliminary hearing, in relation to any other issues outstanding.

“It will give us a good six weeks before the hearing of the inquest.

“I am very pleased with the progress that has been made.

“I know it has been a massive undertaking in relation to the amount of material attached to this inquest.”

The inquest into Ms Leonard’s death is expected to take approximately one week.

Northern Ireland news