Scots couple among dead in Tunisia beach attack

Passengers arrived back at Glasgow Airport after returning on a flight from Tunisia. Picture: PA
Passengers arrived back at Glasgow Airport after returning on a flight from Tunisia. Picture: PA
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A RETIRED Scots couple are believed to be among the 15 British tourists killed on a beach in Tunisia.

James and Ann McQuire from Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, had travelled to the North African country last Sunday and were due to return home on Saturday.

Both had only recently retired and were treating themselves to a break in the Sousse sunshine.

Jim, 66, was a former marine engineer who worked in the shipyards and had volunteered with his local Boys’ Brigade troop for a number of years.

Ann, 63, worked as a receptionist at Craigmarloch Medical Centre in Cumbernauld before retiring last year.

Their grief-stricken son Stuart, 32, was too upset to speak yesteday as more than 2500 tourists flew back to the UK from Tunisia.

David Wharton, 53, had been their neighbour for 22 years. He said: “This has been a real shock. This is something you don’t expect to be on your doorstep. Jim was the type of man who would do anything for anybody and was always very gracious.”

The 41st Edinburgh BB tweeted: “Sad to hear a good BB officer, Jim McQuire and his wife, have been killed in the Tunisia shootings. Thoughts and prayers from all at the 41st.”

Louise Markie, from Edinburgh, had been holidaying in another resort in Tunisia but said the atmosphere became “really sombre” after the attack in Sousse.

After landing at Glasgow Airport yesterday, she said: “Our hotel was on the beach, and it was just the thought that it could happen to anybody”

The Foreign Office says that the number of British deaths stands at 15 but that figure is expected to rise as identities are confirmed.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: “What we’re doing with the Tunisians is working with them. We’ve said we will stick with them, we will work with them. We’ve had our ambassador with the French and German ambassadors to Tunis meeting with the foreign minister.”

He said they were “looking at how we can work with them to reinforce security”, which he said means “beefing up the capabilities of their own security people, to investigate, to track what’s going on in groups that might be inclined towards this kind of action”.

He added: “But also improving the physical security around hotels and tourist areas, trying to make sure that our nationals in those areas are as safe as they possibly can be.”