Thursday 8 December 2016

Exclusive: 'He died a martyr for us' - Mother hails hero stabbed to death saving her and unborn baby

Cathal McMahon

Published 20/10/2016 | 14:11

Suzanne Martin. Picture: Donal Corkery
Suzanne Martin. Picture: Donal Corkery
Suzanne Martin. Picture: Donal Corkery

A mother whose friend died saving her and her unborn child has told how she feels guilty every day.

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Singer Suzanne Martin (29) named her unborn daughter after Good Samaritan Warren O'Connor who came to their rescue during an altercation outside her North Dublin flat six years ago.

Tragically ex-soldier Warren paid the ultimate price when he was stabbed to death in the incident.

Speaking for the first time, Ms Martin told Independent.ie that she will be forever in debt to brave Warren (24).

The last picture taken of Warren O'Connor
The last picture taken of Warren O'Connor

She said: “I have feelings of guilt all the time, all the time. You feel guilty because he had to lose his life coming up to help me, my kid and my unborn child. It’s like you are overwhelmed that the sacrifice was made by him as well. You feel guilty towards his family because they are so nice.

“He’s our hero and I think his family know that as well.”

Recalling the events of the night Ms Martin said that she and her then partner were at home in their flat in Donaghmede on January 16, 2010.

She said that they were trying to put their son, who was four at the time, to bed when the neighbours started having a party.

“We started hearing them coming in and having a party again. Instead of confronting them my partner at the time went down and took their ESB fuse out of the box to cut off their radio and left the building.”

Ms Martin, who was pregnant at the time with her daughter, said she heard angry voices in the corridor of the apartment so she called her partner to warn him.

Suzanne Martin. Picture: Donal Corkery
Suzanne Martin. Picture: Donal Corkery

“They knew it was him after knocking it off.

“He decided to ring a few friends to come up with him to get us out of the apartment and when he came up an altercation happened in the apartment and a big fight broke out basically.

“And after that my partner at the time and his friends came in and they wanted to get me and my son out of the house.”

The group fled to the car park and got into their vehicle but others who had been at the party started pursuing them.

“They rammed the car first where I was sitting with my son on my lap and twice more until the cars conked out.

“The lads that were in the car jumped out as the other lads were coming out because they didn’t want them coming near my son and a fight broke out again.

“We looked up the road and we saw Warren falling to the ground.

“The lads that were in the other car all ran and we went up to Warren on the road. I just saw there was blood coming from his neck and chest area.

“He was lying there, he was trying to talk and his eyes were glazed over.”

Warren's mother Tina O'Connor died two years after he was stabbed to death
Warren's mother Tina O'Connor died two years after he was stabbed to death

She rang an ambulance and Warren was rushed to Beaumont Hospital but Ms Martin said she already knew he wasn’t going to make it.

“We knew at the side of the road he was dying but the confirmation it hits you. I was sitting in the family room with Warren’s mother and his sister and his father and family and friends and trying to explain what happened, it was all a shock to me.

“His mother was there and she was lovely. She died after Warren. God rest her, she was lovely.”

Ms Martin explained that following his death, she and her partner left Dublin “because of everything that was happening”.

She gave birth in May and while she doesn’t want the names of her children to be published she said that her newborn daughter was given the middle name ‘Warren’.

“We weren’t able to go to the funeral after everything that he had done for us.”

Ms Martin has spoken to Independent.ie because she wants to state publicly how grateful she is for Warren’s bravery.

“I would say he died a martyr for us. I am so grateful for what he did for us that night.”

She continued: “I don’t know what could have happened if he didn’t come up that night but I do know that he died helping us.

“I am thankful for what he done for us that night. He really is our hero, he came up and protected us and no harm came to us.”

Jonathan Coyle (33), of Colecut Cottages, Lusk, Dublin appeared in court this week where he pleaded guilty to endangerment contrary to section 13 of the non fatal offences against the person act 1997 on the night of Warren O'Connor's death.

He is due to be sentenced in January for the offence.

Nobody has been charged in connection with the murder of Warren O'Connor.

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