‘Dignified’ memorial parade held for two murdered UDR men

Orangemen on procession in Belfast, 25-02-17, at the annual memorial parade to remember two UDR soldiers murdered by the IRA in Belfast city centre.

Orangemen on procession in Belfast, 25-02-17, at the annual memorial parade to remember two UDR soldiers murdered by the IRA in Belfast city centre.

A parade in Belfast to remember two UDR soldiers and Orangemen who lost their lives in a devastating IRA bomb in 1988 has been hailed a great success.

The annual procession, organised by Ulster Defenders of the Realm LOL 710, paid tribute to Fred Starrett from east Belfast and James Cummings from Rathcoole.

A wall mural is unveiled in east Belfast by Ulster Defenders of the Realm LOL 710 in memory of murdered UDR soldiers, Fred Starrett and James Cummings, prior to the memorial parade and service of remembrance in the city centre on 25-02-17
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A wall mural is unveiled in east Belfast by Ulster Defenders of the Realm LOL 710 in memory of murdered UDR soldiers, Fred Starrett and James Cummings, prior to the memorial parade and service of remembrance in the city centre on 25-02-17 .

Both men were killed in the explosion on Royal Avenue, close to CastleCourt shopping centre as it was being constructed.

Rev Mervyn Gibson, district chaplain and grand secretary, said: “It is always a privilege and honour to take part in the parade, which is seen by many as the first in the year. It was a very well attended and very dignified parade and we were very pleased by the numbers who joined us. The Rev David McIlveen carried out an excellent service as usual. It is always a very special occasion for the family and those who knew the two men concerned.”

Two standards and a bannerette, depicting the UDR crest with the names of the two murdered brethren, were carried at the head of the parade, which paused at the site of the deadly blast.

Grand Lodge officers and county officers were present including the deputy grand master Harold Henning. The grand master was unable be attend due to illness.

The annual Orange memorial parade in tribute to two murdered UDR soldiers took place in Belfast's Royal Avenue.

The annual Orange memorial parade in tribute to two murdered UDR soldiers took place in Belfast's Royal Avenue.