7 Mar 2012

Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey were murdered in March 2009

A memorial stone is to be unveiled in Antrim later to mark the third anniversary of the murders of two soldiers in the town.

Patrick Azimkar, who was 21, and 23-year-old Mark Quinsey, were shot dead by the Real IRA at Massereene Barracks in March 2009.

A cross-community service will be held at All Saints Parish Church later this morning.

There will then be a dedication of the memorial stone in Market Square.

Antrim Mayor Paul Michael said it was an opportunity for the community to come together to show their support and sympathy for the soldiers’ families.

“I would encourage all members of the community to come together to remember these two young soldiers, who were so brutally murdered,” he said.

“I know that the families, who will be there on the day, will take great comfort from knowing that they still have the support and sympathy of the whole of our community.”

The soldiers were the first to be murdered in Northern Ireland since Lance Bombardier Stephen Restorick was killed by an IRA sniper in 1997.

They were shot dead by the Real IRA as they collected pizza. They had been due to deploy to Afghanistan hours after they were murdered.

In January 46-year-old Brian Shivers from Magherafelt was convicted of the murders. His co-accused Colin Duffy, 44, from Lurgan was acquitted.