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Dublin: 10 °C Monday 23 April, 2018

'In such an horrific death, the constant question is - why?' - Victim of Fermanagh murder laid to rest

Concepta Leonard was found dead at a house in the Abbey Road area of Lisnaskea on Monday afternoon.

Connie Leonard was murdered in Fermanagh on Monday.
Connie Leonard was murdered in Fermanagh on Monday.

THE 51-YEAR-OLD Fermanagh woman killed in an apparent murder-suicide earlier this week has been laid to rest.

Concepta Leonard was found dead at a house in the Abbey Road area of Lisnaskea on Monday afternoon. Her son Conor was also found with serious stab wounds but survived the incident.

A 55-year-old man was also found dead at the property. He has been named locally as Peader Phair.

The funeral of Leonard, who was a popular local trad musician, was celebrated today at the Church of Saint Mary, Brookeboro, Co Fermanagh.

A number of symbols of Concepta’s life – All Ireland Fleadh medals, an accordion, rosary beads and a family photo among them – were brought forward by members of the family, including Conor.

Connie Leonard (1) Connie Leonard

During the homily Father Brendan Gallagher told the church that at a time like this, there are many questions.

“These past few days have been a great challenge to the faith of this family, this community. Because on Monday afternoon in the light of a May-day evil intent visited this peaceful community. Evil lurking in the shadow, seeking to destroy life. But in that moment of madness, Conor cared for and protected his mum. We see him holding her hand to reassure her and we see him finding the courage and confidence to seek help.

“That is the reality, the horror of evil intent. But since that time, this family, this community have stood in the light, to confront, to overcome the dark shadows that seek to destroy life.

In such a horrific death which Connie experienced, the constant question is: Why? Why should such a terrible thing happen to such a beautiful person? Where is our God in this moment of evil? Could this tragedy have been avoided? Circumstances could have been different.

“Many people experience and express feelings of regret. If only I had been there to protect. If only I had done something differently!

“But we know that Connie would not want family or friends, thinking or feeling that way. Because for her, she had Conor with her, and that was the most important person she wanted with her at that moment.

The circumstances and the tragedy of Connie’s death, cannot destroy the love that was in her heart and soul. The love that all of you, family and friends, received from her.

“And that is what we celebrate today, with open hearts, silently, with dignity and respect. Because the emotion, the experience of love, is felt not in our heads but in our hearts.”

PSNI officers say that are not looking of for anyone else in connection with the murder.

Read: Tributes to ‘dedicated and energetic’ mother killed in apparent murder-suicide

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