Hundreds of mourners will bid farewell to murder victim Concepta ‘Connie’ Leonard when she is laid to rest tomorrow morning (Friday).
Four days after her brutal killing by her former partner Peadar Phair in a shocking murder-suicide at her home near Nutfield Cross in Maguiresbridge, her funeral mass will take place at St Mary’s Church in Brookeborough at 11am.
There has been widespread shock since news emerged of the horrific incident on Monday evening in which Ms Leonard was stabbed to death and her son badly injured.
Known to friends as Connie, she was a well-known member of the Leonard family from Brookeborough – her father Dinny is a leading light in Fermanagh Irish traditional music circles while her brother Fergal is a senior commander with the Fire Service based in Omagh. Concepta herself was a traditional music teacher with the Lisnaskea branch of Comhaltas, while her son Conor was also involved in music from a young age.
Conor, who is in his 30s and has Down’s Syndrome, is recovering from stab wounds to the stomach at the South West Acute Hospital which he sustained while defending his mother against her attacker, who took his own life.
It has since emerged that Ms Leonard had been due in court on Tuesday, the day after her murder to seek a non-molestation order against Phair.
Brookeborough priest Fr Laurence Dawson, who attended the murder scene on Monday evening and administered the last rights to Concepta, will take tomorrow’s funeral.
He said this week: “The shock has spread through the parish and beyond, the loss of a very prominent woman in the parish who made a huge contribution through teaching traditional music. She frequently played at church services. She is a tragic loss to her family, parents and her son Conor. The community has rallied around the family, and offered them great support and prayer. The close knit community will carry the family through these difficult times and help them face the future with faith and courage.”