‘Her actions saved my life’ says shooting survivor

A SOUTH Derry woman has spoken of the devastating attack which claimed the life of her younger sister.

Mother-of-two Brenda O’Neill, who was wounded, revealed that she has visited the grave of 18-year-old Lauren on being released from hospital to pay an emotional farewell.

The incident happened at Brenda’s William Court home in Bellaghy on Saturday morning, May 19, and stunned the local community.

In an interview with a daily paper, 21-year-old Brenda said her daughter Eimhear (two) and son Eunan, who is almost one, screamed hysterically as she crawled across her kitchen floor in an attempt to help her sister after the shooting.

“When I reached her all I could smell was warm blood and I just fell down beside her,” she said. “I started talking to her and shouting at her but she was unconscious.

“I was on the ground and I just dragged myself to the neighbour’s house and Eimhear just followed me and was crying.”

Eunan, not yet able to walk, was crying in a pool of blood beside his dying aunt.

“Lauren was always thinking of me and the children,” Brenda continued. “Through her actions she saved my life. I think about Lauren all the time.”

Brenda’s former partner Phelim McNally (26), of Station Park, Toomebridge, has been charged with her attempted murder and Lauren’s murder.