Silent tribute to bomb victims
Published 15/03/2013 | 04:16
A town has fallen silent to mark the 20th anniversary of the murder of two boys in an IRA outrage.
Hundreds of people observed the minute silence as 20 peace doves were released at a moving civic event to commemorate the Warrington bombing, on March 20 1993, which tore through the Cheshire town's shopping centre, instantly killing three-year-old Johnathan Ball.
Tim Parry, 12, became the second victim when he died of his injuries five days later.
A further 56 people were injured by the two bombs which were placed in litter bins in Bridge Street and exploded shortly after midday that sunny Saturday afternoon.
No warning was given and nobody has ever been prosecuted for the outrage which took place the day before Mothering Sunday.
Saturday's event on the same street where the bombs detonated was held to commemorate one of the Trouble's most shocking attacks, which sparked a wave of public outcry in the UK and both sides of the border in Ireland at the deaths of the two youngsters.
Tim Parry's parents Colin and Wendy stood near the spot where their son was fatally injured for the moment of reflection. The couple have gone on to set up the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace, which has since become an internationally recognised centre for conflict resolution and victim support.
After the silent reflection Mr Parry, addressed the event, attended by survivors of the bombing along with Mike Penning, Minister of State for Northern Ireland, Alderman William Leathem, the Mayor of Lisburn and local dignitaries and community representatives.
He said 20 years ago two IRA volunteers had "calmly, clinically and coldy" walked down this street planting two bombs primed to go off knowing innocent men, women and children out shopping would be the victims.
He said his own son "died in my arms" five days later from his injuries. "The men who murdered these innocent victims were never caught and never will be," he said. "But quite possibly they may be listening today and may realise the futility of their actions here in Warrington. It did not further their cause but it did further the cause of peace."