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Sunday 17 December 2017

How a boy's jealousy turned budding romance into tragedy

Lesley-Anne Henry

IT was a relationship built on jealousy, her father believes.

The teenage Turkish waiter who called himself 'Alex' had been completely obsessed with pretty Irish girl Shannon Graham from the moment he laid eyes on her last summer.

The pair had met in the resort of Kusadasi, where Shannon's father, Raymond McGuinness, an oil distributor from Newry, has a second home.

They were almost instantly inseparable.

Mr McGuinness -- Marion Graham's ex-partner, who is flying out to comfort his 15-year-old daughter today -- said he was never completely happy about the blossoming courtship.

Indeed he believed the 17-year-old murder suspect whom he met last year harboured a "dark side" and was prone to bouts of extreme envy -- especially if his young girlfriend was given attention by any other men.

"There was always something that was not quite right," he said last night.

"He had a look in his eyes -- you could see the jealousy." Mr McGuinness said.

Alex was "always on Facebook" and frequently telephoned his house to "check up" on Shannon, he added. "He was almost, you might say, obsessed by her," he said. "He was just mad about her."

Shannon and her mother Marion were regular visitors to Turkey. They had travelled to the country for Christmas and returned again at the start of the summer. It is not clear when Ms Doyle joined them.

"I sent them out again at Christmas because when I asked Shannon what she wanted she said, 'I'd really like to go back out to Turkey.' So I arranged the flights," added Mr McGuinness. "It's just awful."

The exact circumstances surrounding the devastating double murder have yet to be established. However, it is believed 'Alex' had previously threatened Ms Graham when she reprimanded him for allegedly "kicking" her daughter.

"She took him to one side and told him, 'That sort of thing is not going to happen to my daughter,'" added Mr McGuinness.

"Apparently then he threatened to kill her, but if someone threatens you, you always take it with a pinch of salt."

There are also reports that he had asked for Shannon's hand in marriage and was outraged when her mother refused.

It is understood that Shannon had been on a boat trip while the killings happened. On her return, Alex, who had suffered cuts to his hands, is alleged to have made up a story claiming her mother and Ms Doyle had been kidnapped and that he had been injured while trying to intervene.

Mr McGuinness, who has been in telephone contact with his daughter, said she was being comforted by the Irish Consulate.

Irish Independent

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