DOUBLE DEATH TRAGEDIES STUN RESIDENTS IN WEST BELFAST

Father of two Gary ‘Chub’ Lavery who fell to his death in Spain last night

A YOUNG mum has left two children without a mother after taking her own life in west Belfast.

As her shocking suicide stunned her family, another family were mourning the loss of a cut-above-the-rest son who fell to his death from a balcony on a sunkissed Spanish holiday resort.

Leanne Toner, from the Lagmore area of west Belfast, was only 24 when she decided to end her life yesterday.

What is hard for family and friends to understand is that she never shared her deepest thoughts, even though her mum lived just next door.

A resident said: “People are very shocked. Leanne has left two young children behind.

“We don’t know why she did it. But then you really don’t know what goes through peoples’s minds.”

A few miles away on the Andersonstown Road, another family was mourning the loss of a son, dad, and grandfather.

Gary ‘Chubb’ Lavery, from the Andersonstown Road area, died just hours after he arrived in the Costa Brava on Monday.

His brother Stevey said he got a phone call to say ‘Chubb’, who arrived in Spain at around 9pm, had fallen two storeys from the balcony just before midnight.

“They worked on him for a while but they couldn’t do anything,” he explained.

Gary was a grandfather to two little boys, and his mum Betty Lavery said the whole family is extremely close.

“He just loved every minute of his life with the kids… We did not get on like children and mummies. We were very, very close, we could talk about anything to each other.

“He had a heart that size,” his mother added, holding out her arms.

Mrs Lavery said the 44-year-old barber, who owns Blades shop on the Andersonstown Road, was well-known in the west of the city. She called him a “the legend”.

“He was very popular and well known and very good to everybody,” she said, “Anybody was in trouble they all went to the shop

Brother Stevey added: “He will be sorely missed. “He pulled a few people out of a few holes.”

It could be some days before the Spanish authorities release ‘Chub’s’ remains to allow him to be flown back to Belfast for a family funeral.

 

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