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25 years on, Shankill prepares to remember victims of IRA atrocity

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The aftermath of the Shankill bombing in which nine innocent people died

The aftermath of the Shankill bombing in which nine innocent people died

The aftermath of the Shankill bombing in which nine innocent people died

A series of events will take place around Belfast to mark 25 years since the Shankill bomb.

The no-warning IRA attack at Frizzell's fish shop took place on October 23, 1993, a busy Saturday afternoon. Nine people, including two children aged seven and 13, were killed.

They were shop owner John Frizzell; his daughter Sharon McBride; 13-year-old Leanne Murray; Michael Morrison along with his partner Evelyn Baird and her seven-year-old daughter Michelle; married couple George and Gillian Williamson, and Wilma McKee.

A gallery exhibition, a play and a walk of remembrance have been planned to take place throughout the week by the greater Shankill community and families of those who died. This Saturday a parade of football teams will walk from Highfield to the bomb memorials to lay wreathes at 1.06pm - the time of the blast - before taking part in a match the next day.

What If, a play in the Spectrum Centre based on the life experiences of Gina Murray, Leanne's mother, from 1993 until the present day, will be performed on October 20.

From October 21-23, there will be an exhibition of artefacts, memorabilia, cards and photographs relating to the Shankill bomb.

On October 22, A Walk To Remember will visit the sites of some of the worst bombing atrocities in the city.

Commencing from the site of the Balmoral Showrooms bombing, the tour will see families and the public walk along the Shankill Road, stopping off at the Bayardo memorial, the Shankill bomb site, the site of the Four Step Inn (NISC) and finishing at the Mountainview Tavern.

At each stop there will be a short act of remembrance for the victims read by local church representatives.

On the anniversary itself, October 23, a service will be led by Reverend David Clawson at West Kirk Presbyterian Church.

The event will include several readings by members of the bereaved families, and a performance by a united schools' choir from local primary schools.

Representatives from Harmony Primary School, to represent Michelle Baird, and the Girls' Model, where Leanne Murray was a pupil, will lay flowers at Court Credit Union at 1.06pm. A bell will toll nine times for each of the victims.

Churches across the greater Shankill area have also been asked to use a common prayer in their Sunday services.

One of the bombers, Thomas Begley, also died in the blast in the packed shop after the device exploded prematurely.

Some 57 people were injured, including a 79-year-old woman and two two-year-old boys.

IRA members Begley and Sean Kelly, wearing white coats and posing as delivery drivers, carried the bomb into the shop.

The IRA said the intended targets were UDA leaders they thought were meeting in an office above the shop, but the office was empty.

Belfast Telegraph