Stacey Knell: Fundraising effort will support ‘beautiful soul’ murder victim’s young daughter

The family of murder victim Stacey Knell has said any surplus money from a fundraising initiative will be used to support Stacey’s young daughter Sophia.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 1:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 2:08 pm
Stacey Knell, one of three people who died in an apparent murder suicide in Newtownabbey on Friday

In a Facebook message posted on behalf of the family on Tuesday morning, a cousin of Stacey thanked everyone for their “overwhelming” generosity as a appeal reached almost £1,400.

The family has also paid tribute to the mother-of-one as a “beautiful soul and incredible mum,” and said they are now living “an absolute surreal nightmare”.

It has also been announced that Stacey’s funeral will take place from her mum’s home in Sydenham on Friday.

Karen McClean

The 30-year-old was murdered by her boyfriend Kenneth Flanagan, 26, in Newtownabbey on Friday night, a short time after he had attacked and killed his own mother, Karen McClean, 50, at another property.

Mr Flanagan’s body was discovered at the scene of Stacy’s murder and police have said they are not seeking anyone else in connection with the double killing.

The family Facebook message said: “Just like to thank Stacey Knells friends for setting this up, the generosity of everyone has been overwhelming. As a family we’ve clubbed together to cover most of her funeral but this will go some way to getting her a really nice headstone and anything that is left over will be going into a fund for her daughter Sophia so for everyone who has made a donation. Theres no words to thank everyone enough so from the family thank you.”

An earlier message on behalf of Stacey’s family said: “Firstly there’s no words that can even begin to express how grateful we all are for the sheer amount of messages, texts, calls and help from everyone connected with our family circle and beyond.

Kenneth Flanagan

“Its been overwhelming how many people wanted to let the family know they where thinking of us all at a time that can only be classed as an absolute surreal nightmare that nobody should have to go through and you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.

“It’s impossible for us all to reply to everyones good wishes but were hoping this message may go some way to show how much we appreciate it all.

“Stacey was a beautiful soul and incredible mum who seen the best in everyone even unfortunately sometimes when there was nothing good to be seen at all. When trying to take in the gravity of the loss you have to realise you aren’t just losing essentially one person, but you’ve been robbed of a daughter, a sister, a grand daughter, an aunt, a cousin, a friend and most importantly of all a mother.

“Violence against women and mental health issues are two incredibly important topics which need every bit of support that can come their way, however, in the media over the last few days we have seen so many people in power use this tragedy as a statistic to push their agendas on these subjects to the frustration of the family.

“Stacey is not a political football to be used by anyone she was a very real person to those closest who will be missed sorely.

“This is also NOT an issue on mental health anyone should be pushing but rather one of somebody who has never been any good in their life robbing our family and indeed his own of two women who only ever had his best interests.

“His cowardly acts of that night will never be forgiven.

“To have to see Stacey’s face splashed across the newspapers its hard especially on her mum, to think some people outside the families initial thoughts when hearing the news was to lift the phone to a newspaper actually defies belief.

“We have no interest in speaking to any media outlet and in fact we are requesting that we be left in peace to bury our wee Stacey with the dignity she deserves.”

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