Mourners hear of ‘horror of evil’ at Connie Leonard funeral

Mrs Leonard's 30-year-old son Conor, who was injured while trying to protect his mother along with family and friends carry Mrs Leonard's coffin from the family home in Brookeborough to St Mary's Church in the town for require mass. 
Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Mrs Leonard's 30-year-old son Conor, who was injured while trying to protect his mother along with family and friends carry Mrs Leonard's coffin from the family home in Brookeborough to St Mary's Church in the town for require mass. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Mourners at the funeral of murder-victim Connie Leonard heard how “evil intent” visited the community in Co Fermanagh on Monday.

Concepta ‘Connie’ Leonard was fatally attacked at her home in the Maguiresbridge area.

Concepta Leonard. Photograph issued by the PSNI on behalf of Ms Leonard's family.

Concepta Leonard. Photograph issued by the PSNI on behalf of Ms Leonard's family.

Her 30-year-old son Conor, who has Down’s Syndrome, also suffered stab wounds in an assault police are treating as attempted murder.

The man thought to have been responsible for the bloodshed, Concepta’s ex-partner Peadar Phair, is dead; it is believed he committed suicide at the scene.

Connie’s funeral is taking place at St Mary’s Church in Brookeborough this morning.

In a heartbreaking homily, Fr Brendan Gallagher recounts how Concepta Leonard’s son Conor “cared for and protected” his mother during the brutal attack.

The funeral of Concepta Leonard in Brookeborough, Co. Fermanagh

The funeral of Concepta Leonard in Brookeborough, Co. Fermanagh

Fr Gallagher said: “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 Mayday 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.”

The Fire service of Northern Ireland form a guard of honour as family and friends carry Mrs Leonard's coffin from the family home in Brookeborough to St Mary's Church in the town for require mass. 
Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

The Fire service of Northern Ireland form a guard of honour as family and friends carry Mrs Leonard's coffin from the family home in Brookeborough to St Mary's Church in the town for require mass. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com