CONOR LALLY and GERRY MORIARTY
A Turkish youth is expected to be formally charged with the double murder of two Irish women in western Turkey on Thursday night.
Marion Graham and Kathy Dinsmore were found stabbed to death in a wooded area off a road near the port city of Izmir.
The dead women were both 54 years old and from the Newry area of Co Down. Both were travelling on Irish passports.
The killings followed Ms Graham’s attempts to prevent her daughter Shannon from marrying a 17-year-old youth she had met in the country.
The youth was detained by police yesterday, and is the only suspect for the double murder. His father and a local taxi driver were also helping police with their inquiries.
The suspect yesterday appeared at a preliminary hearing in Turkey and charges are expected to follow. A spokeswoman for Department of Foreign Affairs said today no plans have yet been made as to when the bodies of the two women will be brought home.
Yesterday it emerged the two women had been threatened in recent weeks during a dispute over a proposed wedding between one of their daughters and a Turkish teenager.
Marion Graham had recently told family members in Ireland that an attempt had been made to assault her 15-year-old daughter in Turkey, and this led to her to put in place arrangements to bring the teenager back home.
The Department of Foreign Affairs is offering consular assistance to the families of Ms Graham and Kathy Dinsmore, both of whom were found stabbed to death.
Ms Graham’s daughter was yesterday being cared for by consular staff at the Irish embassy in Ankara. Her father was travelling to Turkey.
Ms Dinsmore’s brothers, John and George Dinsmore, said – in a statement issued through Newry SDLP councillor Sean O’Hare – that they were “devastated” by the tragic loss of their “beloved sister Kathy while on holiday in Turkey”.
Both women were killed on Thursday night. Local media reports claimed the women’s throats had been cut, but this could not be confirmed.
It is understood that Ms Graham was separated but she continued to use a family-owned property in Kusadasi several times a year.
Her daughter had been staying with her in Kusadasi where she had struck up a relationship with a 17-year-old boy who worked as a waiter. That relationship dated back to at least late last year.
Reports from Turkey and sources in Dublin yesterday said it appeared that Ms Graham’s daughter and her boyfriend were planning to get married in Turkey.
Ms Graham and her friend Ms Dinsmore strongly disapproved of the relationship and the wedding plans and were trying to frustrate those plans.
While details of the killings were still emerging from Turkey yesterday, it appeared Ms Graham’s daughter had gone on a boat trip on Thursday.
However, when she returned to her mother’s house she could not find her.
By the time she had gone to the police to report her missing, they were already questioning her boyfriend.
He had returned to his place of work, reportedly with a cut on his hands, and changed his clothes after claiming he had been on a trip with a friend and the murdered women.
When this was relayed to the police they began questioning him about the missing women.