Funeral of Newtownabbey murder victim Stacey Knell to take place today

Stacey Knell, one of two women murdered in Newtownabbey last Friday night, will be laid to rest this morning (Friday).

Friday, 26th March 2021, 7:41 am

The funeral will be from her mother’s home in Sydenham, east Belfast.

Ms Knell’s family have said that while they want to “give the wee woman the send off she deserves”, anyone gathering outside the house must observe the current Covid-19 restrictions regarding social distancing.

The 30-year-old mum was killed by her boyfriend Ken Flanagan (26), who also murdered his mother Karen McClean (50) before taking his own life.

Stacey Knell.

The killings - at Derrycoole Way in Rathcoole and in Glenville Road - shocked and stunned the Newtownabbey community.

Police have confirmed they are not looking for anyone else in relation to their investigations into what they have described as “shocking and horrific double murders”.

In a statement issued last night on social media, the family of the 30-year-old mum said they would like to express their “profound gratitude to everyone who has rallied round in this awful week”.

“We will never be able to individually thank everyone enough for what they have done in the last few days, people’s kindness and generosity has been an immense comfort to us all.

Flowers left at the scene on Glenville Road, Newtownabbey. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

“We are all absolutley blown away with what everyone has done this week for Stacey and the family and we would just again like to say a massive thank you to each and everyone of you who found the time to send a text, set up funds or make a donation towards them, send round food, help with arrangements the list goes on and on we can’t thank everyone enough but just know these actions have made this week just a little easier to bear.

“Hold your loved ones tight and appreciate what you have, what we take for granted each and every day is nothing short of a blessing to be cherished,” the statement added.

A funeral notice describes Ms Knell as “much loved mother of Sophia, devoted daughter of Roberta and Paul, a loving sister, aunt, cousin and friend to many”.

It continued: “Stacey will be very sadly missed by her loving family and many friends.”

Tributes have also been poured in for Ms Knell on social media.

One person wrote: “A young beautiful girl who had her whole life ahead of her. Taken far too soon. Rest easy.”

Another contributed: “Can’t begin to imagine the hurt and pain. May God give Stacey’s family and friends the strength to get through xxx”

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