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Pain still lingers a generation after Shankill bomb attack

Community unites in grief and remembrance of lives lost in IRA terrorist attacks

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Michelle Williamson, whose mother and father died in the bomb, is comforted during a memorial march in Belfast to mark the 25th anniversary of the atrocity in which nine innocent people were killed by an IRA bomb

Michelle Williamson, whose mother and father died in the bomb, is comforted during a memorial march in Belfast to mark the 25th anniversary of the atrocity in which nine innocent people were killed by an IRA bomb

PA

Jackie Nicholl, whose 17-month-old son died in a blast at the Balmoral Showrooms in 1971

Jackie Nicholl, whose 17-month-old son died in a blast at the Balmoral Showrooms in 1971

PA

The memorial march in Belfast to mark the 25th anniversary of the atrocity in which nine innocent people were killed by an IRA bomb

The memorial march in Belfast to mark the 25th anniversary of the atrocity in which nine innocent people were killed by an IRA bomb

The memorial march in Belfast to mark the 25th anniversary of the atrocity in which nine innocent people were killed by an IRA bomb

The memorial march in Belfast to mark the 25th anniversary of the atrocity in which nine innocent people were killed by an IRA bomb

PA

The memorial march in Belfast to mark the 25th anniversary of the atrocity in which nine innocent people were killed by an IRA bomb

The memorial march in Belfast to mark the 25th anniversary of the atrocity in which nine innocent people were killed by an IRA bomb

PA

The memorial march in Belfast to mark the 25th anniversary of the atrocity in which nine innocent people were killed by an IRA bomb

The memorial march in Belfast to mark the 25th anniversary of the atrocity in which nine innocent people were killed by an IRA bomb

PA

The memorial march in Belfast to mark the 25th anniversary of the atrocity in which nine innocent people were killed by an IRA bomb

The memorial march in Belfast to mark the 25th anniversary of the atrocity in which nine innocent people were killed by an IRA bomb

Michelle Williamson, whose mother and father died in the bomb, is comforted during a memorial march in Belfast to mark the 25th anniversary of the atrocity in which nine innocent people were killed by an IRA bomb

Michelle Williamson, who lost her parents in the Shankill bomb, spoke of her enduring pain last night as she joined a poignant ceremony at the scene of the blast.

George Williamson (63) and his wife Gillian (47) from Lisburn both died in the explosion 25 years ago today.

And hundreds of people took part in a sombre walk of remembrance that honoured 26 people killed in five separate terrorist attacks.

Last night Michelle walked with them in reflection on the eve of the anniversary of the day that "changed her world forever".

"They were my mum and dad. They were everything to me," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

"They'd just bought a new house and were out shopping for curtain fabric.

"They just popped in to Frizzell's to get fish for their tea.

"It's 25 years later and this is still very painful to recall but I can't change it."

The attack took place on a busy Saturday afternoon in the heart of one of Belfast's main loyalist areas when Thomas Begley and Sean Kelly posed as fishmongers and carried a bomb into the fish shop.

It exploded prematurely, killing nine civilians and IRA man Begley, and injuring a further 57 people.

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Jamie Brown with his son Bodhi (2) pictured beside a picture of their relative Michelle Baird (7) who was killed in the bomb. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Jamie Brown with his son Bodhi (2) pictured beside a picture of their relative Michelle Baird (7) who was killed in the bomb. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS
An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. Isla McKee touches a picture of her relative Michelle Baird.
PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. Isla McKee touches a picture of her relative Michelle Baird. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS
An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. Charlie Butler's relatives Michelle and Evelyn Baird and Evelyn's husband Michael Morrison died in the bomb.
PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. Charlie Butler's relatives Michelle and Evelyn Baird and Evelyn's husband Michael Morrison died in the bomb. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS
An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. Isla McKee looks at a doll owned by her relative Michelle Baird who died in the bombing.
PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. Isla McKee looks at a doll owned by her relative Michelle Baird who died in the bombing. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS
An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. Charlie Butler's neice Evelyn Baird died in the bombing.
PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. Charlie Butler's neice Evelyn Baird died in the bombing. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS
An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. Isla McKee kisses a picture of her relative Michelle Baird.
PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. Isla McKee kisses a picture of her relative Michelle Baird. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018

Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb.  9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above.  The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. 



Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018 Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb. 9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above. The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018

Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb.  9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above.  The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. 



Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018 Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb. 9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above. The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018

Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb.  9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above.  The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. 



Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018 Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb. 9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above. The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS
An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. 
PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS
An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. 
PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS
An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. 
PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS
An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. Billy Hutchinson looks at the gallery.
PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. Billy Hutchinson looks at the gallery. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS
An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. 
PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS
An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. 
PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS
An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. 
PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS
An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. 
PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS
An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. 
PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS
An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. 
PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS
An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. 
PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018

Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb.  9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above.  The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. 



Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018 Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb. 9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above. The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018

Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb.  9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above.  The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. 

Jamie Brown with his son Bodhi(2) long with April Morrison and Isla McKee(3) pictured beside a picture of their relative Michelle Baird(7) who was killed in the bomb.

Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018 Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb. 9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above. The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. Jamie Brown with his son Bodhi(2) long with April Morrison and Isla McKee(3) pictured beside a picture of their relative Michelle Baird(7) who was killed in the bomb. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018

Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb.  9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above.  The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. 

Jamie Brown with his son Bodhi(2) pictured beside a picture of their relative Michelle Baird(7) who was killed in the bomb.

Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018 Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb. 9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above. The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. Jamie Brown with his son Bodhi(2) pictured beside a picture of their relative Michelle Baird(7) who was killed in the bomb. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018

Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb.  9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above.  The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. 

Jamie Brown with his son Bodhi(2) pictured beside a picture of their relative Michelle Baird(7) who was killed in the bomb.

Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018 Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb. 9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above. The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. Jamie Brown with his son Bodhi(2) pictured beside a picture of their relative Michelle Baird(7) who was killed in the bomb. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018

Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb.  9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above.  The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. 



Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018 Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb. 9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above. The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018

Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb.  9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above.  The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. 



Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018 Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb. 9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above. The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS
An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. Billy Hutchinson looks at exhibition.
PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

21/10/18 PACEMAKER PRESS An exhibition was opened to commerate the victims of the Shankill Bombing in the Methodist Church on the shankill Road. Billy Hutchinson looks at exhibition. PICTURE MATT BOHILL PACEMAKER PRESS

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018

Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb.  9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above.  The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. 



Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018 Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb. 9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above. The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018

Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb.  9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above.  The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. 

Isla McKee(3) pictured looking at some memorabilia at the exhibition. 

Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018 Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb. 9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above. The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. Isla McKee(3) pictured looking at some memorabilia at the exhibition. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018

Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb.  9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above.  The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. 

Isla McKee(3) pictured looking at some memorabilia at the exhibition. 

Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018 Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb. 9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above. The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. Isla McKee(3) pictured looking at some memorabilia at the exhibition. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018

Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb.  9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above.  The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. 

Isla McKee(3) pictured looking at some memorabilia at the exhibition. 

Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st October 2018 Exhibition at Shankill Road Methodist Church in west Belfast opens to mark the 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb. 9 people died when the IRA walked into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road with the aim of targeting a loyalist meeting in the room above. The bomb also killed one of the IRA men. Isla McKee(3) pictured looking at some memorabilia at the exhibition. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Jamie Brown with his son Bodhi (2) pictured beside a picture of their relative Michelle Baird (7) who was killed in the bomb. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

The wounded included Kelly, who was pulled from the rubble of the collapsed building.

Last night the walk stopped at Shankill Leisure Centre - close to the former Balmoral Showrooms - and also marked the attacks on the Bayardo bar, Frizzell's, the Four Steps Inn and the Mountainview Tavern.

Twenty-six people died in those blasts, with scores more suffering serious injuries

Community worker Jackie Redpath helped to organise the remembrance.

"The community felt it was right to remember the five bombs that claimed lives on this road," he said.

"They wanted it. Of course it's painful and the people have their individual stories to tell, but coming together as one in reflection of our shared suffering was the right thing to do."

Reflecting on her own loss, Michelle said: "Sometimes the only thing that keeps me going is knowing that my mum and dad are looking down on me and that we will meet again some day, and that Kelly and Begley will burn in Hell."

She added: "Since that awful day my life has changed in so many ways. I am no longer the carefree girl I used to be, my heart is so full of pain at the loss of my parents but I have so much anger and hatred of those that carried out this atrocity and for all that they claim to stand for.

"Words cannot describe the hatred and contempt I feel towards Gerry Adams and his ilk; I cannot forgive and I will never forget what they have done to me."

Having stayed at home that Saturday, Michelle remembers working on her sewing machine in her bedroom.

"I was sewing curtains, the television was on and I can remember the programme was interrupted with a news flash about a bomb in Belfast," she said.

"I remember thinking: 'I hope mum and dad don't get caught up in the traffic'.

"I carried on but as the afternoon wore on I started to worry as they'd said they wouldn't be long.

"It was about 5pm when there was a loud knock at the door. I knew it wasn't mum and dad as they would have just come on in.

"I went down the stairs and I knew immediately it was a policeman at the door by the silhouette. That's when your heart starts to pound.

"I knew something was wrong when he immediately asked me if I was Michelle Williamson. I just asked him: 'Where's mum and dad?' And he kept asking me 'Are you Michelle Williamson?'

"When I eventually said yes, he told me my mum and dad had been caught up in an explosion on the Shankill Road, that dad had severe head injuries and that mum was with him.

"He told me to go to the Royal Victoria Hospital as soon as possible. From the way he told me I presumed mum was OK and was looking after dad.

"I remember being in a small room at the hospital and a doctor telling me that dad had sustained severe head injuries and had died just before I got there.

"I asked 'Where is my mum?'

"Nobody knew so they started ringing around all the hospitals in Belfast to try and find her.

"I wanted to see dad so they led me to the corner of a corridor, where behind a screen lay my father.

"Until my dying day I will not forget that image, seeing my dad lying there on his own with his head bandaged and blood seeping onto the pillow.

"I held his hand, kissed him gently on the cheek and told him how much I loved him and said goodbye.

"Next thing I remember is arriving back home to Lisburn, the lights were on in my house, so I thought mum was home, but it wasn't, it was a relative waiting on me.

"We sat and waited for news of where mum was and about 10.30pm word came through that mum had been found and that she was in the mortuary at Forster Green Hospital."

Michelle said that she was able to draw some comfort from the support shown at last night's event.

She said: "It's right that we should remember the others who have been killed in the community.

"It means a lot to me to know my mum and dad have not been forgotten.

"It's a very emotional time and I don't really know how I'll feel at the main service.

"I know it was 25 years ago, but to me it still feels like yesterday."

The first of five emotional stops along the Shankill Road was at the site of the old Balmoral Showrooms, where four people - including two babies - lost their lives on December 11, 1971.

Among the dead was 17-month-old Colin Nicholl. His father Jackie laid a wreath in remembrance.

"People ask me if it's tough today. It's always tough. Every day, We still grieve." he said.

"It's very poignant. My boy had his whole life taken from him. But there are great people in this Shankill community and we can see that tonight."

Among the clergy taking part, Rev Jack Lambe added: "Tonight is a hard and painful journey which we share together but the people of this community know we are with them for every step."

Belfast Telegraph