Friday 26 May 2017

'They gunned down a couple waiting for a bus' - Brother of Irish woman killed alongside husband in Tunisia

Larry and Martina Hayes
Larry and Martina Hayes

David Kearns

The brother of an Irish woman gunned down in Tunisia said the world deserved to know that those who kill his sister "murdered in cold blood two people waiting for a bus".

Mum-of-one Martina Hayes was killed alongside her husband Larry when a gunman opened fire on tourists on a beach in the coastal resort of Sousse on Friday.

The Athlone couple were among 38 people killed, including Irish mum-of-two Lorna Carty, in the terrorist attack.

Read More: 'Both were in great form' - Tragic couple's final phonecall to daughter before Tunisia attack

Condemning the murder of his sister, Billy Kelly said the grieving family had decided to speak up about Martina and her husband because “the people who did this, devastated a loving family [by] murdering my sister in cold blood.”

People hold hands as they pray in a circle around bouquets of flowers laid in tribute on the beach of the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
People hold hands as they pray in a circle around bouquets of flowers laid in tribute on the beach of the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
People place flowers on the beach of the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Women react on the beach of the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
A family reacts beside flowers laid on the beach of the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Russian tourists are seen shopping at the old medina in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015.REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Residents of the coastal town of Sousse in Tunisia place flowers and messages during a gathering at the scene of Friday's shooting attack, Sunday, June 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)
People place lit candles in the sand in front of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, where a gunman had carried out an attack, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra BensemraÄ®
People place lit candles in the sand in front of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, where a gunman had carried out an attack, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
A lit candle is seen in the sand in front of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, where a gunman carried out an attack, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
A woman holds a child as they sit near lit candles in the sand in front of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, where a gunman carried out an attack, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
People hold candles as they walk to the beach of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, where a gunman had carried out an attack, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
People hold candles as they walk to the beach of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, where a gunman had carried out an attack, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
People hold candles as they walk to the beach of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, where a gunman had carried out an attack, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
People hold candles as they walk to the beach of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, where a gunman had carried out an attack, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
An unidentified tourist places flowers at the scene of Friday's shooting attack in the coastal town of Sousse, Tunisia, Sunday, June 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)
Residents of the coastal town of Sousse in Tunisia place flowers and messages during a gathering at the scene of Friday's shooting attack, Sunday, June 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)
Men carry chairs at the entrance of the house of Saif Rezgui, a gunman who shot 39 tourists on the beach of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, in Gaafour, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi
Women pray near bouquets of flowers laid on the beach of the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
A police officer patrols the beach near the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman in Sousse, Tunisia, June 29, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
A police officer stands guard near the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman in Sousse, Tunisia, June 29, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Tourists pay their respects in front of a makeshift memorial at the beach near the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman in Sousse, Tunisia, June 29, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Messages and flowers are placed at the beach of the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman in Sousse, Tunisia, June 29, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

“I was apprehensive about talking about my sister live on air,” he told The Pat Kenny Show earlier today.

“But, as a family, we feel local people deserve to know what these people did.  So does the country and the world, everyone deserves to know. These people… they shot my sister and her husband in cold blood.

“Larry was an inspector with Bus Éireann, and my sister Martina was a housewife, a very proud house wife, and they were just a loving family who were finishing out their holiday when they were gunned down.

Read More: 'There was shouting... we just ran to our hotel' - Irish grandparents tell of Tunisia beach attack horror

“Like all of us, they just went down to that beach to reminisce about their holiday. They checked out around 12 o’clock and went for their usual walk, [and] I believe their bus was coming to collect them around 4pm.

“The people behind this attack, they murdered two hard working people who were just waiting for their bus. The world deserves to know that.”

The brother of Ms Hayes said the family were devastated at the loss of their youngest sister and her husband.

The couple had been married for more than 30 years said Mr Kelly, who added his sister was the youngest of 11 children.

Read More: Tunisia terror attack - The evil in the sun: Irish couple latest victims of laughing Isil killer's spree

He told Newstalk that the family were grateful when they learned the couple’s daughter Sinéad (31) had not been in Tunisia with them.

“Thank god [she] wasn’t with them. It could have been a whole family wiped out,” said Mr Kelly.

“Please god she wouldn’t have to go over to collect the bodies because it’s a devastating time for her, and the rest of the family.

“So far the authorities are dealing with it. We’re just sitting and waiting for news when they’ll be released to come home."

Meanwhile, suspected associates of the gunman who carried out the Tunisian beach massacre have been arrested.

The country's interior minister Najem Gharsalli said a "significant number" of individuals were detained.

A total of 38 people, including three Irish up to 30 Britons, died after Kalashnikov-wielding student Seifeddine Rezgui opened fire in the resort of Sousse on Friday.

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