Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Four Scots confirmed dead in attack

Published 30/06/2015

Jim and Anne McQuire, from Cumbernauld, were killed in the terror attack Tunisia (PA/Church of Scotland)
Jim and Anne McQuire, from Cumbernauld, were killed in the terror attack Tunisia (PA/Church of Scotland)

The First Minister has offered her "deepest condolences" to the families of four Scots killed in the Tunisian massacre following official confirmation of their deaths.

James and Anne McQuire from Cumbernauld and Billy and Lisa Graham from Bankfoot, near Perth, died in the attack at the Sousse beach resort on Friday.

Seifeddine Rezgui, a 23-year-old student, shot dead 38 people on the beach in the atrocity and authorities in Tunisia are quizzing seven of his suspected associates.

The Grahams were visiting the resort to celebrate Lisa's 50th birthday.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "My deepest condolences go to the families and friends of James and Anne McQuire from Cumbernauld and Billy and Lisa Graham from Bankfoot following official confirmation that they were killed in the terrorist atrocity that unfolded in Tunisia on Friday.

"The Scottish Government, Police Scotland and our partners will continue to do everything we possibly can to provide support to their families and everyone else affected by this incident as they return to Scotland from Tunisia.

"Both families have requested that their privacy is respected at this incredibly difficult time and I would ask that they are given the appropriate time to grieve in private."

St Johnstone FC paid tribute to Mr Graham, who had worked on match days at the club's McDiarmid Park home for seven years.

The club said everyone at McDiarmid Park is "shocked and saddened" to learn of the death of the turnstile operator.

A statement posted on the official website said the thoughts of everyone at the club were with the couple's daughter Holly and the rest of the family.

Saints' chairman Steve Brown said: "This is terrible news and our thoughts go out to the whole family at this time. Billy was part of the St Johnstone family and a great ambassador for the club who always did his job with a smile on his face."

The couple had been at the resort celebrating Lisa's 50th birthday, the statement said.

Perthshire North MSP John Swinney said: "I am deeply sorry that the deaths have been confirmed of my constituents Billy and Lisa Graham in the terrorist atrocity in Tunisia. I have spoken with their daughter Holly over the last few very difficult days, and my heart goes out to her at this tragic news.

"Mr and Mrs Graham were simply enjoying a relaxing holiday when they became victims of this wicked crime. There are no words that can explain the awfulness of this act. We must all remain resolute in our determination to defeat terrorism.

"It has been a difficult and protracted process to secure the identification of victims and for Mr and Mrs Graham this has resulted in this terrible news.

"Their loss will be felt by the local community in Bankfoot but most acutely by the family and friends they leave behind. I will give every support I can to their daughter Holly and her family in the period ahead to assist in any way that I can.

"This will be a difficult time for the family and we should all respect their privacy at this time."

The Daily Record reported that Billy Graham had been in the Army for 22 years and retired after service in Northern Ireland, Kuwait and Iraq.

Mr Graham's older brother Lindsay Graham told the newspaper the family had been going through "absolute torture" as they waited for information about the missing couple.

The minister from Cumbernauld Abronhill Church of Scotland recently paid tribute to Mr and Mrs McQuire , saying they had a close family and would be sorely missed.

Mr McQuire was a captain in the Boys' Brigade and a number of tributes were posted on social media on behalf of other brigades.

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that a minute's silence will be held in memory of the victims at noon on Friday, a week after the outrage.

Flags are expected to be flown at half-mast over Government departments and Buckingham Palace that day.

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, said: "This is heart-breaking news for the family and their close community. My thoughts and prayers are with them all at this most difficult time.

"I will continue to do all I can to ensure that Holly Graham and her family have all the support they need in the days and weeks ahead."

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph