Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 1 November 2014

Massereene killings during week when Ulster was gripped by terror

The coffins of sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey leaving Massereene Barracks in Antrim
The coffins of sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey leaving Massereene Barracks in Antrim
Old Bailey bomber Marian Price
Murdered soldier Patrick Azimkar

THE Massereene murders came during a week of dissident terror.

Sappers Mark Quinsey (23) and Patrick Azimkar (21) of 38 Engineer Regiment had been collecting pizzas from the front gates of the barracks on Saturday, March 7, 2009 just hours before deploying to Afghanistan when dissident gunmen opened fire on them.

Two other soldiers and a pizza delivery man were also wounded.

Northern Ireland was still reeling when two days later PSNI Constable Stephen Carroll (48) was gunned down in Craigavon while responding to a 999 call.

The Real IRA claimed the Massereene murders while the Continuity IRA claimed the shooting of Constable Carroll.

Within a couple of weeks three men had been arrested over the Massereene shootings, including Lurgan republican Colin Duffy.

All three were released on March 25 by order of Belfast High Court following a judicial review.

However, Duffy was immediately re-arrested on suspicion of murder and on March 26 was formally charged with the murder of the soldiers. In 2012 Duffy was acquitted of involvement.

South Derry republican Brian Shivers was arrested on suspicion of the murders in July 2009 and convicted.

In January 2013 the conviction was overturned and in May he was found not guilty, cleared of all charges and released from jail.

Old Bailey bomber Marian Price is the only person convicted over Massereene. She was arrested in 2009 on suspicion of providing property for the purposes of terrorism, in relation to a mobile she purchased which was used by the shooters to claim responsibility on behalf of the Real IRA.

In 2011 Price's Good Friday Agreement early release license was revoked by the then Secretary of State Owen Paterson after she held a speech for a hooded man during an Easter Rising rally.

Price was released from prison on May 30, 2013 due to ill health.

Last Thursday she was convicted of both charges after changing her plea to guilty at the last minute.

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