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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When Linda Byrne, the first Irish woman to complete the Dublin City Marathon, crossed the finish line in record time, her Carlow boyfriend and his family were there to cheer her on.
Linda, who trains with the-Dundrum South Dublin Athletics Club, has now qualified for the London Olympics and credits local lad Kevin Lawlor with pushing her that extra mile on the day.
“He’s been a great support. He was up watching me on the day and he was cycling to different spots along the route to watch me and cheer me on,” added Linda.
Twenty-four-year-old Linda was the first Irish woman to complete the Dublin marathon at Halloween. Her record time of two hours, 36 minutes and 21 seconds, means that Linda now qualifies for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
“It’s very exciting. It’s been my goal the whole year; focusing on qualifying. Now I’m totally relieved and I can focus on the games.”
Kevin, from Pollerton, and his parents Mary Patricia and David, as well as his brothers Diarmuid and Ronan, were all at the finish line to cheer on Linda.
“They’ve been great support. I go to Carlow regularly on my holidays,” joked Linda, who admitted that St Laurence O’Toole’s track and the Oak Park forest walk featured prominently in her training regime.
“I’ve been training down there a good bit. It’s great to be able to use St Laurence O’Toole’s and Oak Park.”
Linda, who met Kevin in DCU three years ago, where they were both studying on athletics scholarships, will have a huge Carlow contingent behind her as she steps out in green, white and gold in London next year.
“It’s great. It’s amazing how much it means to everyone and the support I’ve received has been brilliant.”
(Source: The Carlow Nationalist)