Bikers remember Massereene soldiers on fifth anniversary

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Hundreds of bikers converged on the former Massereene barracks site in Antrim on Sunday to remember two soldiers murdered outside the base in 2009.

Sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey were gunned down by dissident republicans. Two other soldiers and two pizza delivery men were also wounded.

The Royal British Legion Motorcycle Riders’ Branch organised the event in honour of the soldiers to raise money for military charities that help wounded veterans and their families.

Following a brief moment of silence, wreaths were laid on the spot where the soldiers were ambushed by the Real IRA gunmen.

An email from the mother of Patrick Azimkar was also read out, ahead of the fifth anniversary of the attack.

She said the day of remembrance meant more to her family than words could express.

Derek Winter, Royal British Legion Motorcycle Riders’ Branch, said: “Money we raise through this goes to local charities to help make life a little easier for service men from all walks of life.”

Among those in attendance at the event was Ranger Andy Allen, who lost his legs in the conflict in Afghanistan.

He said: “It is great to come down to remember those who have gone before us and pay our respects.

“Also, it’s important to remember those victims that are still living, like the families, and we need to be there to support them.”

Nigel Kells, who is standing for the DUP in the forthcoming election, was also in attendance and said: “‘On Sunday morning I paid my respects to Sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar at the fifth Massereene ride out.

“In a week where we remember that so many families have never received justice for the murders of their loved ones, we pray that justice will come for victims of terrorism here in Northern Ireland and throughout the rest of the United Kingdom.”

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