Belfast Telegraph

Belfast parade tribute to soldiers killed in IRA bombing - Fred Starrett and James Cummings honoured

By Michelle Smyth

A solemn parade wound its way around Belfast city centre in memory of two soldiers killed by an IRA bomb in 1988.

Private Fred Starrett and Private James Cummings died after a 200lb bomb went off as they closed a security gate on Royal Avenue on February 24, 1988.

The bomb had been placed behind a hoarding on CastleCourt shopping centre, which was being built at the time.

Mr Cummings was killed instantly and Mr Starrett was rushed to hospital, where he died of his injuries the next day. A second bomb, believed to have been intended for the police or Army, was discovered and defused.

No one was ever convicted of the murders of the two UDR soldiers and Orangemen.

The annual commemoration parade left Templemore Avenue on Saturday morning and made its way to Royal Avenue for the laying of wreaths and a memorial service.

An Orange lodge spokesman said: "This memorial parade has become an annual event as we remember two brethren who, like so many others, gave their lives in the service of the Crown."

On Facebook, Lyn McCrea described Saturday's event as a "beautiful, dignified parade".

Recalling the day of the bomb, Janice McArthur wrote: "I remember that too well. I was a student at the time and remember hearing the explosion. Lest we forget."

Olive Craig added: "Gone but not forgotten."

Mr Starrett and Mr Cummings belonged to Ballymacarrett No 6 District's Banner of the Cross LOL 1310 and Johnston's Golden Star 1934 respectively.

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