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Thursday 22 March 2018

'Numb' daughter in poignant tribute to diver shot in SA

Fergus Black and Shane Hickey

THE distraught daughter of an Irishman shot dead in South Africa has paid a moving tribute to her father, describing him as a man with a "huge smile" who could always make her laugh.

Diving school boss Kevin McGuirk (53), originally from Dublin, and his South African wife Kim (34) died on Monday after being shot at their home near Johannesburg.

Mrs McGuirk's 75-year-old father was arrested in Alberton and has been charged with the double murder.

Yesterday, his heartbroken daughter Siobhan, who said she feels "completely numb" following the deaths, paid a poignant tribute to her dad as friends rallied around the McGuirk family.

"I will never forget his huge smile and how he could always make me laugh or smile when I was crying or upset," she said.

"Woke up this morning and realised I wasn't dreaming. It really happened. I guess all I have left is memories."

Writing on her Facebook page, she thanked family and friends who had comforted her following his death.

Mr McGuirk's nephew Jason McGuirk described the tragedy as the worst news of his life and said everyone was in "pure shock" at what had happened.

Also writing on his Facebook page, Mr McGuirk, who lives in Athy, Co Kildare, described Kevin as a "great uncle".

"Still cant get over the news today everyone just in pure shock its a crazy world we live in miss ya kev," he wrote.

Police said the pensioner suspected of the double killing had admitted shooting his daughter and son-in-law with a licensed pistol after a row.


Police spokesman Manaka Raphulu said the couple were found dead on Tuesday.

"The victims were found in the bedroom. The man had been shot in the back and his wife had been shot in the head," he said.

"At this stage we have no idea why the old man decided to kill the couple."

Police said the suspect's 9mm pistol was confiscated at his home.

It is believed he waited for his daughter and son-in-law to go to bed on Monday night before entering their bedroom and firing two shots.

He then allegedly waited overnight with their bodies in the house before calling the police the following morning.

The couple's company Africa Diving Scuba operated from their home in Alberton.

A note on the firm's website indicated that they were due to run a trip next month to the island of Zanzibar.

Yesterday, a friend paid tribute to the tragic couple, who married about four years ago.

Natalie Claremont, who grew up alongside Mrs McGuirk in South Africa, said: "Everyone is in total, complete shock.

"They were such a lovely couple and a really strong part of the diving community. Nobody can believe what has happened, we are stunned."

It is believed the couple met several years ago through their shared love of scuba diving.

Friends gathered together yesterday to comfort each other following the tragedy.

Mrs Claremont added: "They were so happy together and they lived to dive.

"We are horrified by it all and nobody can understand what happened or why."

Irish Independent

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