Funerals held for Turkey stab victims
A teenage girl whose boyfriend is the prime suspect in her mother's murder paid an emotional farewell at her funeral today.
Marian 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 week.
Ms Graham's 15-year-old daughter Shannon helped carry a photograph of her heartbroken family to the altar during the Requiem Mass in Newry, Co Down.
Turkish waiter Recep Cetin, originally thought to be 17 but who may be older, 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 in the nearby town of Warrenpoint.
Father John Byrne told the congregation in Newry: "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."
He described Ms Graham, who had five children, as "a loving mother and great friend".
"She lived her life to the full and enjoyed the company of friends and neighbours," he said.
"Marian 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 victims 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.
Canon John Kearney of St Peter's Church, Warrenpoint, said: "For so many people in this church today, the death of Cathy has turned their world upside down.
"We are shocked as individuals and we are visibly shaken as a community when we learned about the unexpected and tragic death of Cathy who was born and reared here in Warrenpoint and was known by so many.
"We do not want to believe or accept that a person who was known so well and loved so much is now dead.
"In a sense we are paralysed. We are suspended in disbelief.
"Today there is a huge emptiness in our hearts because Cathy has been taken away from us in this way."
Politicians attending the funerals included Sinn Fein's Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy, as well as South Down MP and leader of the nationalist SDLP Margaret Ritchie.