Belfast Telegraph

Chorus of anger as metal thieves rip out Warrington bomb plaque

A bishop has condemned the theft of a memorial to two children killed by an IRA bomb as “senseless vandalism”.

A plaque that formed part of the River of Life, a memorial for victims of the 1993 Warrington blast, was taken from a wall in Bridge Street in a suspected metal theft.

Three-year-old Johnathan Ball and 12-year-old Tim Parry were both killed by two small bombs placed in litter bins on the street, while 54 others were injured in the Cheshire town.

The Bishop of Warrington, the Rt Rev Richard Blackburn, said his prayers were with both families.

He said: “This is senseless vandalism, grieving not only the families but the whole community. I appeal to all who have any information to assist the police and help take this investigation forward.

“My prayers are with the families as they cope with this appalling news.”

Tim Parry's father Colin told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: “There has been a spate of war memorial thefts up and down the country and every one of them is shocking.

“It's hard to imagine why anyone would stoop so low to do this.

“Anyone with a conscience or any sense of decency would know that there might be other things that might be less emotionally damaging to take.”

His son was killed when two bombs exploded within a minute of each other on March 20, 1993, one outside a Boots and another outside a McDonald’s, in an area crowded with shoppers.

Johnathan died at the scene, while Tim was gravely wounded. He died on March 25, 1993 when doctors switched off his life support machine.

The day after the bombings the IRA admitted its volunteers had planted the bombs.

The memorial was unveiled by the Duchess of Kent when she opened it as a symbol of continuing life. It was stolen some time between April 20 and May 5.

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