Tributes paid to Scottish Christian couple killed in Tunisia terrorist attack

Tributes to the victims were placed in the sand in front of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, where the shooting took place on Friday.Reuters

A retired couple believed to have been killed in the terrorist attack at the Tunisian beach resort in Sousse were mourned by their church community in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire on Sunday.

James (Jim) and Ann McQuire were among the 38 tourists killed by gunman, Seifeddine Rezgui, in the attack at the Imperial Marhaba Hotel which was claimed by Islamic State.

The McQuire's son, Stuart, confirmed their death with the Scottish Mail on Sunday, but was unable to comment any further when questioned by reporters. The Foreign Office has not yet given official confirmation.

The couple were active members of their Church of Scotland parish in Abronhill. They had recently retired and had booked the trip just two weeks before leaving. They were due to return home on Sunday.

Jim, 66, a former marine engineer, was captain of the local Boys' Brigade troop, and had been invited to attend a Royal Garden party in Edinburgh on his return. Ann, 63, worked as a medical receptionist before retiring last year.

Their vicar, Rev Joyce Keyes, told the Telegraph: "I don't think I can make any sense of it at all. My feeling is of numbness.

"They were extremely important to the church community here. Jim was an elder with the church and the captain of the Boys' Brigade and his loss must impact on the wider community," she said.

"They were friends of mine as well as members of the church. They took part in services here. Jim would play guitar and Ann was a beautiful singer.

"They're going to be very dreadfully missed not just by their family but also by their church family. They were a loving couple with a very close family."

Rev Keyes told the Scottish Daily Record that the the couple were devoted to one another.

Prayers were said for them during yesterday's church service and other Boys' Brigade troops tweeted their condolences and called for prayer for their families.

Andrew Eadie, who was a fellow Boys' Brigade captain with Jim, and was planning to attend the Garden Party with him, told the BBC: "I can't make sense of it, I just can't understand the logic of what they have done.

"I understand that there are freedom fighters and there's people trying to make a point but there must be other ways than doing what they've done."

The McQuire's neighbours have also described them as kind, gracious people. David Wharton, who has lived nearby formore than 20 years told the Telegraph: "Jim was the type of man who would do anything for anybody and was always very gracious. It might sound like something out of a fairy-tale but they were just the kindest, most genuinely nice neighbours you could possibly ask for."

So far it is thought that more than 30 of the 38 victims were British, making it the worst terrorist attack on British citizens since the 7/7 bombing in London in 2005, in which 52 people died and 700 were injured.