Thursday 23 November 2017

Shannon bids emotional farewell to mum murdered in Turkey

Shannon Graham (centre) daughter of Marian Graham is supported by family members at the funeral of her mother at St Mary's church in Newry, Co Down. Photo: PA
Shannon Graham (centre) daughter of Marian Graham is supported by family members at the funeral of her mother at St Mary's church in Newry, Co Down. Photo: PA

Steven McCaffery

The teenager whose boyfriend is the prime suspect in her mother's murder said an emotional farewell at her funeral today.

Marion Graham and Cathy Dinsmore, from Northern Ireland and both aged 53, were stabbed to death in woods 75 miles north of the Turkish resort of Kusadasi last Thursday.

Ms Graham's 15-year-old daughter Shannon carried a photograph of their family to the altar during the Requiem Mass in Newry, Co Down.

Turkish waiter Recep Cetin is the chief suspect in the double murder.

Reports that he attacked the women after being refused permission to marry Shannon have caused widespread shock.

Hundreds attended the service at St Mary's Chapel, which was timed to allow mourners to travel to Ms Dinsmore's funeral later today in the nearby town of Warrenpoint.

Father John Byrne told the congregation in Newry: "We remember Marian as a unique individual who influenced many people's lives in so many ways.

"She was a loving mother and great friend.

"She lived her life to the full and enjoyed the company of friends and neighbours.

"Her humour and personable nature meant she had a wide circle of friends and she could chat to young and old with little difficulty."

He added: "Marion was still young and had much more to give in life but any plans and expectations for the future have been cruelly cut short and it will take time for her loved ones to come to terms with this life-shattering episode."

The women were close friends and were on an extended stay in Turkey when the stabbings took place.

Their bodies were flown into Dublin airport on Wednesday and Shannon was among friends and family who accompanied the hearses on their journey home.

Fr Byrne said: "Marion Graham's family, young and old, today bring her to the Lord still struggling to come to terms with her death. A tragedy will always stun us because it is so unexpected.

"It is particularly true then for Marion's family and this community because we are so painfully aware of the tragic circumstance of her death and indeed the death of her friend Cathy Dinsmore.

"Both families are united in their grief and it is natural that they have so many questions but so few answers.

"Losing someone so close as a mother and a dear friend has caused numbness and confusion."

The man held over the murders may be kept in prison until the end of Ramadan after a prosecutor was appointed to oversee charges.

It is likely the suspect, whose true age is not known, will be held in custody for at least another week as the Islamic holy month ends on 30 August.

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