News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties
The mother of one of the soldiers gunned down in a hail of bullets at Massereene Army Barracks left court in floods of tears last Monday as graphic CCTV images were shown during the first day of the trial of the two men accused of their murders.
Sappers Patrick Azimkar (21) and Mark Quinsey (23) were killed in the callous gun attack on March 7, 2009. Four other people, including two civilians delivering pizzas to the base, were seriously injured.
All four parents of the murdered soldiers were present at Antrim Crown Court last Monday and sat just yards from the two accused as the trial got under way. Mrs Azimkar and a painfully distressed Mrs Quinsey left the courtroom as the shocking CCTV footage lasting around a minute showed the horrific incident unfold. Colin Duffy (43), from Forest Glade in Lurgan, and Brian Shivers (46), from Sperrin Mews in Magherafelt, both deny any involvement in the attack.
Delivering the prosecution's opening statement, Terence Mooney QC told the court that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the defendants as 'principals' ie the gunmen.
However, he said that the presence of DNA linked them to the getaway car, 'making them accessories in a joint enterprise'.
The trial is expected to last approximately five weeks.
The court heard that up to 200 witnesses from as far afield as the USA and New Zealand will be called to the stand.
(Source: Antrim Guardian)
Amidst the anguish of recent thefts committed on defenceless pensioners and the rising toll throughout the locality of aggravated burglaries and opportunistic robberies, it would seem a new low was reached last week with the armed robbery of a popular Newry charity shop.
The local community was left reeling as news began to emerge that the British Heart Foundation charity shop on Hill Street had been robbed at knifepoint. On Wednesday, 2nd November, a staff member at the branch was left terrified when, shortly after 4.00pm, a man entered the premises brandishing a knife and demanding cash. Fearing for her life the worker handed over the money and the thief made off on foot.
Jane Flannery, Operations Manager for British Heart Foundation (BHF) shops said the theft will significantly impact on the charity.
“Thankfully our assistant shop manager escaped unhurt which is our main concern,” she said.
“We’re now appealing for the local community to come forward if they have any information about the incident. This incident cost £280 – a loss of vital donations to the British Heart Foundation.”
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