Shock at killing of mother in Connor

THE village of Connor is still reeling after the killing on Mothering Sunday of 53-year-old Lynn Coburn.

It is believed she was stabbed in a house in the Rossburn Manor area of Connor.

Her 31-year-old son was also stabbed and is in a stable condition at Antrim Area Hospital after undergoing surgery.

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A 33-year-old man, believed to be a son of the deceased was, at the time of going to press yesterday (Monday), still being questioned by police on suspicion of murder and attempted murder.

Police were called to the house at around 12.30pm on Sunday lunchtime and it was discovered that a 53-year-old woman was dead and her 31-year-old son seriously injured.

One of the first people on the scene, neighbour John Dickson said residents were “stunned” by what happened.

“It was the usual Sunday morning, very quiet and very peaceful,” he said.

“I looked out of the window and saw my neighbour administering first aid to a gentleman on his front lawn. I was shocked and we went out to see what we could do to help.”

Mr Dickson said the injured man had been able to communicate the fact that he had been stabbed.

TUV leader Jim Allister, who lives just outside the village, said: “Naturally, there is a sense of disbelief and deep shock arising from this tragic incident on Mother’s Day.

“The housing development where the incident happened is a quiet and desirable area where murder would be the last thing you’d expect to encounter.

“Whereas the full circumstances are still unclear my thoughts and those of the entire neighbourhood are with the affected family who have been plunged into such grief and turmoil.”

Local MP Ian Paisley Jnr said he was “absolutely aghast and shocked”.

“The murder of a woman and another man seriously injured in a brutal stabbing incident is just quite shocking,” he said.

“Such a murder is deplorable and must be condemned.

“A sleepy village like Connor will be aghast. It was a shocking way to end a Sunday lunchtime event,” added the MLA.

SDLP MLA Declan O’Loan also expressed his regret at the incident.

He said: “This is a shocking family tragedy ending in the death of a mother.

“The local community is shocked at such an occurrence. I want to extend my sympathy to the whole family involved.

“If anyone knows anything about what led up to this tragic outcome I would ask them to bring that to the police.”

North Antrim DUP representative Mervyn Storey described as a “tragedy” the death of the 53-year-old mother.

Mr Storey said: “It is a terrible tragedy for any person to be murdered. But for a mother to be murdered on Mother’s Day is truly awful.

“A day that should have been about celebrating all that is precious and special about parenthood has turned into a nightmare.

“This incident will send shockwaves through the community and further afield.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families involved at this very difficult time,” said Mr Storey.

Adrian Watson, UUP South Antrim Assembly candidate, said he was “deeply shocked” by the murder of the 53-year-old, who he called by her maiden name of Lynn Clarke.

He said: “Though living near Kells, Lynn was from Antrim and I know her family. I am deeply upset at her murder especially coming as it did on Mother’s Day which makes it all the more poignant. I understand that her son is being questioned by police over the murder and over the attempted murder of his brother.

“Whatever has happened in what at first glance appears to be a domestic incident, the tragedy will leave a deep mark on the local community and on the friends of the murder victim in the town of Antrim.

“Nothing or no-one can ever replace a mother, especially one lost in such tragic circumstances,” said Mr Watson.