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Thousands raised to repatriate Newry murder victims

March 19, 2019

Fundraising initiatives set up to repatriate the bodies of a mother and daughter found murdered in Newry have raised thousands of pounds to help their Colombian family.

The bodies of 37 year old Giselle Marimón Herrera and her 15-year-old daughter were found in their apartment in Glin Ree Court in the city on Thursday 7th March.   

Thirth eight year old Russell Steele, who was in a short term relationship with the murdered woman and lived at the apartments, is believed to have killed the mother and daughter before taking his own life.

Results of a post-mortem examination confirmed that Allison, a pupil at Newry High School, had been strangled and it is believed her mother was killed in the same way.

Ms Marimon-Herrera, originally from Columbia, had moved to Newry for work about four years ago and was joined by her daughter in 2017.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, her father Fabion Marimon told a Columbian news agency he would have to sell his taxi so he could afford to travel to Northern Ireland to take the bodies of his daughter and granddaughter home.

Responding to the shocking double-murder, local people and businesses have launched three fundraising initiatives in Newry to assist the family with travel and repatriation costs.

The Newry Repatriation Fund for Giselle and Allison was launched at Newry Credit Unionon Monday last, with its first donation of £5,000 made by Colin Bell from the renowned Kevin Bell Repatriation Fund (KBRT).

“Unfortunately, we can only repatriate to Ireland,” explained Mr Bell at the launch of the fund, adding that the charity was “very happy to give a sizable donation to bring the girls home to their loved ones and give the family some kind of closure.”

Speaking at the launch of the fundraiser, Newry Credit Union Manager, Brendan Jackson said, 

“The Credit Union is a community organisation as well and we’re only too happy to facilitate people making a contribution and help get the money to the families that need it and get the bodies repatriated.”

Two other GoFundMe pages set up by Ogra Sinn Fein in Newry, and Kim Winters PT have also raised thousands to help towards flights, hotel costs and the funerals and allow the murdered women’s family fly to Northern Ireland to say goodbye to their daughter and grand-daughter. 

Meanwhile people throughout the area expressed their sympathy with books of Condolence opened in Newry Council Offices, Crossmaglen Community Centre,  Warrenpoint, Newcastle, Kilkeel, Downpatrick and Ballynahinch.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council chairman, Cllr Mark Murnin, opened the Book of Condolence at the Council’s Newry office on Monday last with a message extending “heartfelt condolences on behalf of myself and everyone in the Newry, Mourne and Down district go the family and friends of Giselle and her 15-year-old daughter Allison, who lost their lives in such tragic circumstances in our city.”

Donations to the fund to help the Marimón Herrera family can be made at Newry Credit Union or online donations can be made to account number 84109694, sort code 902338.

Gofundme pages can be found at www.gofundme.com/flights-for-newry-murder-victims- and www.gofundme.com/newry-mum-and-daughter-repatriation-

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