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tragic loss Fundraiser for Belfast murder victim Stacey Knell surpasses target ahead of funeral

Family say excess money will go towards Ms Knell's daughter

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Police believe  Ken McClean-Flannagan stabbed his girlfriend Stacey Knell and mother of one in  separate properties before killing himself.

Police believe Ken McClean-Flannagan stabbed his girlfriend Stacey Knell and mother of one in separate properties before killing himself.

Police believe Ken McClean-Flannagan stabbed his girlfriend Stacey Knell and mother of one in separate properties before killing himself.

A Gofundme.com appeal set up in memory of Stacey Knell, who was murdered by her partner on Friday, has surpassed its £1,500 (€1,714) target.

The page was set up by the murdered mum’s friend, Melissa Morrison, to help with the funeral arrangements for the 30-year-old,.

Stacey, originally from the Sydenham area of Belfast, was murdered by her partner Ken Flanagan after he murdered his mother Karen McClean (50) in a separate attack on the same day.

The Sunday World reported at the weekend how Stacey's former partner had gone to the police earlier on Friday to report his concerns surrounding Ken Flanagan, and his fears that Flanagan was a danger to the child the worried father and Stacey had together.

On the Go Fund Me page, Melissa wrote that the appeal had been set up in memory of her friend "who was taken from us all and who we loved so dearly.”

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Ken Flanagan murdered his mother, Karen (pictured) before going on to murder his girlfriend and take his own life

Ken Flanagan murdered his mother, Karen (pictured) before going on to murder his girlfriend and take his own life

Ken Flanagan murdered his mother, Karen (pictured) before going on to murder his girlfriend and take his own life

She added: "Rest in peace, our beautiful."

The fundraiser has now raised over £1,800, with the remainder of the money to be donated to Ms Knell’s daughter who will grow up without a mother.

On Friday evening Ken Flanagan (26) murdered his mother, Ms McClean, at a property in Rathcoole.

He then went to nearby Glenville Road, where he murdered Ms Knell before taking his own life.

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Police believe Ken McClean -Flanagan man stabbed his mother and girlfriend Stacey Knell, at separate properties before killing himself

Police believe Ken McClean -Flanagan man stabbed his mother and girlfriend Stacey Knell, at separate properties before killing himself

Police believe Ken McClean -Flanagan man stabbed his mother and girlfriend Stacey Knell, at separate properties before killing himself

Ms Knell’s funeral will take place from her mother's home in the Sydenham area on Friday and will be restricted to 25 people due to coronavirus regulations.

Her funeral notice reads: ‘Died 19th March 2021 (suddenly) much loved mother of Sophia, devoted daughter of Roberta and Paul, a loving sister, aunt, cousin and friend to many.

‘Stacey will be very sadly missed by her loving family and many friends.’

Meanwhile, family members have posted tributes to Ms Knell on social media.

One read: ‘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.

‘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 everyone’s 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.’

The writer also used to opportunity to voice the family’s frustration at what they perceive to be groups using their loved one’s death to ‘push their agendas’.

They added: ‘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.’

Speaking of Ken Flanagan, they added: ‘His cowardly acts of that night will never be forgiven.’

In another post a family member thanked Ms Knell’s friends for starting the funding campaign.

They said: ‘Just like to thank Stacey Knell’s 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.

"There’s no words to thank everyone enough so from the family thank you.’

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