Monday 20 February 2017

Last journey of friends murdered in Turkish holiday horror

Distraught daughter escorts mother's body home

Adrian Rutherford and Victoria O'Hara

Published 25/08/2011 | 05:00

Shannon Graham is kissed at Dublin Airport by her sister Karen
Shannon Graham is kissed at Dublin Airport by her sister Karen
Shannon is comforted by family
The bodies of Marion Graham and Kathy Dinsmore make their final journey. Photo: PA
The bodies of Marion Graham and Kathy Dinsmore make their final journey. Photo: PA
Marion Graham
Kathy Dinsmore

IT should have been the happiest of times, but it ended in tragedy and anguish as the bodies of two murdered women came home.

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Just a few weeks ago, best friends Marion Graham and Kathy Dinsmore had left Northern Ireland for a dream holiday in Turkey.

Last night they came home, together again, but in the most heartbreaking of circumstances.

The final leg of a long and painful journey was completed when the two women were brought back to their native Co Down.

Two grieving families, who had been looking forward to welcoming home loved ones, were instead faced with the grim task of receiving coffins and preparing funerals.

Ms Graham and Ms Dinsmore, who were aged in their 50s, were stabbed to death in woods near Izmir on Turkey's western seaboard last Thursday.

The boyfriend of Mrs Graham's 15-year-old daughter Shannon, Recep Cetin, has reportedly confessed to both killings.

Police

As the Turkish police continued to piece together the events leading up to the murders last night, the women's remains were arriving home.

Their bodies had been released from a mortuary in Izmir and taken to Kusadasi, from where they were flown to Dublin yesterday.

The plane touched down at around 1.20pm, before two hearses took the victims on the final leg of their journey home.

The sad procession was accompanied by gardai and police on each side of the Border, along with a cavalcade of 10 cars carrying grieving relatives, including Shannon.

After reaching Co Down, Ms Graham's remains were taken to a funeral parlour in Newry.

The hearses parted in the town, with the women taken to separate undertakers.

Mary McAuley was waiting for the procession near the Buttercrane shopping centre in Newry, where it split. She said she had met Ms Graham.

"She was a lovely lady, just so kind and well-thought of locally," she recalled.

"It is such a shame, everybody is shocked, we just cannot take in what happened.

"Your heart goes out for their family, it is unimaginable what they are going through."

A private service for Ms Graham was held last night, attended by several dozen close friends.

Minutes later, four pallbearers slowly carried the coffin down a small set of steps before disappearing into the home.

Meanwhile, the light was fading in the small village of Mayobridge as the body of Kathy Dinsmore finally returned home.

Her body had made the journey from Warrenpoint to her brother's house five miles from Newry just before 9.30pm.

Sean O'Hare, who has known the Dinsmore family for 40 years, will be among the many mourners who will attend the two funerals.

"It is a very, very sad day for the whole of the Newry and Mourne area," Mr O'Hare added.

"Kathy is being brought back to her final resting place. Nobody ever thought when she left to go on holiday she would come back under these terrible circumstances."

Ms Dinsmore's funeral will be held tomorrow afternoon in St Peter's Church, Warrenpoint.

The two funerals will back-to-back so that both sets of grieving relatives can pay their final respects.

Irish Independent

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