'no light' | 

Widow of Sligo murder victim Pat Ward says his kids ask for their daddy every day

Pat Ward (30) was found dead in an alleyway after being beaten, kicked and stabbed

Ellie Ward speaks to the Sunday World

Niall Cox and Karen McDonald

Ellie Ward

Pat Ward and Ellie

Paula MackinSunday World

The heartbroken widow of murder victim Pat Ward says their children still ask for their daddy every day.

The family have never recovered from the brutal killing of the father of four who cherished and cared for those he loved the most.

Time will never be a healer, says devastated widow Ellie Ward who lost the love of her life four years ago.

Their four children still wait and hope their daddy will come home, their childhood robbed from them by an act of pure evil.

And as the woman accused of his murder was found guilty of manslaughter last week, Ellie says no sentence will ease her pain.

Pat’s childhood friend Niall Cox pleaded guilty to murder at a previous date. Both he and his ex-partner Karen McDonald will be sentenced together in April.

“Nothing that happens will ever bring Pat back,” Ellie told the Sunday World.

“That woman lied through her teeth for weeks putting us through the trauma of a trial that lasted weeks.

"It’s only for her to know what she did, I don’t want to know because it would be horrendous, too hard,” she said, struggling with her emotions.

Niall Cox and Karen McDonald

Forced to endure graphic details of Pat’s death, she admits to having been left exhausted. Coupled with trying to make sense of it for her children, it has been a draining experience.

Pat Ward (30), originally from Sligo, was found dead in an alleyway in Clogher in February 2019.

The young father had been beaten, kicked and stabbed after spending the night drinking in Ms McDonald’s home with Cox.

McDonald denied any involvement and claimed her relationship with Cox was abusive and coercive.

She painted herself the helpless victim of domestic violence, and that she would have done anything Cox told her out of fear he would kill her.

However, CCTV footage was shown to the jury of Mr Ward being dragged by Cox from the house to the alleyway with McDonald seen carrying his legs.

“Of course she is guilty, the jury saw through her lies, even up to the last minute she tried to get away with it,” said Ellie.

“She planned to try and get away with it because she went to trial. Bet you she wishes now that she had of admitted what she had done from the start. The shoe is on the other foot now.”

The grieving widow has never come to terms with life without her sweetheart.

“If I’m truthful it is still 2019. I still feel the same today as I did then when I realised Pat was gone. I went into a dark tunnel that day and it has been darkness ever since.

“There is no light any more, not since he was murdered and I doubt there ever will be. It still hasn’t sunk in.

Pat Ward and Ellie

“I don’t look to the future any more, the way me and Pat used to. I take one day at a time, from one day to the next I don’t what I’m doing because I can’t see that far ahead, it’s not the same any more planning things when we are not side by side,”

The couple have four children – Tom (14), Leonie (12), Chanara (7) and Pat Jr (5), who has no memories of his doting dad.

“My children miss him something awful, my youngest still asks if his daddy is going to come back. I could never have imagined such pain, I would hate for someone to go through what we are going through. Nobody deserves this. It is horrible, pain every day that won’t go away.

“He was my best friend, it was young love. I was 18 when we got together and he was 19. After that we were never apart.

Pat Ward and Ellie

“We were very close as a husband and wife, as close as could be. If he wanted to do something fun then he would drag me along to be part of it.

“He was such a nice person, he would have done anything for me and the kids.

“Having kids was everything to him, when the kids arrived he was over the moon. Pat was a loving, caring husband and father who adored his kids, his wife and his family.

“He was my soulmate,” she added.

Pat’s family are now bracing the selves for sentencing that will take place in April.

“I’m pleased they are behind bars as there is no place in society for people like this. They don’t to walk the streets among decent people,” Ellie said.

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