Sunday 11 December 2016

Family bid farewell to murdered Irishman and wife

Shane Hickey and Stewart Maclean

Published 25/08/2011 | 05:00

THE funeral will take place today of an Irishman and his wife who were murdered in South Africa.

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Relatives of Kevin McGuirk (54), who is originally from Dublin, have travelled there following the brutal killings last week.

Mr McGuirk and his wife Kim (34), who was from South Africa, were found shot to death in the home they shared with her father Erwin Poppinger (75) in Alberton, just outside Johannesburg.

Mr Poppinger has been charged with their murders and is due to make an appearance in court today.

Dozens of friends and former colleagues are expected to attend a ceremony today where Mr McGuirk, who ran a diving school, is cremated alongside his wife.

Douglas Norval, a friend who used to go diving with the couple, said the community was still shocked following the murders.

"Kevin and Kim were gregarious people. Everyone in the diving community knew them and liked them," he said.

"I have been on plenty of trips away with them, and they were always the life and soul of the party.

Stunned

"The funeral will be a big deal for a lot of people as everyone is still stunned by what has happened.

"We all feel that we need to come together to remember the good times and how much they loved life.

"Some of Kevin's family have come over for the funeral, and it will be important for them too."

The McGuirk family issued a statement earlier this week paying tribute to the pair and remembered the close relationship they had up to their death.

Mr McGuirk was a father of five.

A number of members of the family travelled to South Africa in the immediate aftermath of the shootings and have been meeting up with friends and colleagues of the pair since.

Today's service will be held at a private funeral home in central Johannesburg.

It is expected that the mourners will then gather to remember the couple at a wake.

The ceremony will happen on the same day as Mr Poppinger will make his latest court appearance since being arrested in the immediate aftermath of the shootings.

Mr Poppinger was arrested on Tuesday of last week at the home the trio shared in Alberton.

He was later charged with two counts of murder and has since been held in custody.

Irish Independent

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