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  1. ITV Report

Co Fermanagh murder ‘awful reality’ of domestic abuse

A domestic abuse charity has said more must be done to offer protection to victims, in the wake of a Co Fermanagh woman’s shocking murder at the hands of her former partner.

Concepta Leonard, 51 and known as Connie, was brutally stabbed to death by her former partner Peadar Phair at her Abbey Road home in a quiet rural area near Lisnaskea on Monday.

Her killer also tried to murder her 30-year-old son Conor, who has Down’s syndrome, but he survived and was able to raise the alarm.

Phair, who had a history of violence and was the subject of a non-molestation order taken out by his victim, died in hospital after trying to kill himself at the scene.

The injunction is aimed at preventing an abuser from intimidating or harassing their victim and breaching it is a criminal offence.

However, for Connie Leonard, it was tragically not enough.

It has emerged that she was murdered just the day before she was due to go to court to extend that order to try stop Phair getting near her.

Concepta’s life matters. She was a smart, funny caring woman.

She was murdered by the man she had once loved.

The enormity of this, the dreadful reality of domestic violence, is still not talked about enough.

– Fermanagh Women's Aid

Fermanagh Women’s Aid paid tribute to the devoted mother, extending condolences to her family and wishing her son a full and speedy recovery.

The organisation, which support both men and women, added that the horrific death highlights the nature of domestic violence.

It added that, for those affected, home can be a dangerous place.

29,166
Number of domestic abuse motivated incidents in NI in 2016/17

“The awful reality of this murder is that Concepta’s name is now on a list of women in the UK and Ireland who have been killed by their partner or ex-partner,” Women’s Aid said.

“And, though we will react with shock in the days to come, we must endeavour to protect the women in our community who are suffering on a daily basis.

“As a society, we must ask what more can we do – all of us.

"How do we help our family and friends, our neighbours, to stay safe? How do we stop more women being added to the list?”

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