| 13.6°C Belfast

Shankill bomb: There comes a time to leave past behind, says victim's husband

 

Close

The scene after the bomb attack (PA)

The scene after the bomb attack (PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

The scene at the Shankill Road bombing (PA)

The scene at the Shankill Road bombing (PA)

The scene after the bomb attack (PA)

Tuesday's 25th anniversary of the Shankill bomb could be the last public commemoration, a relative of one of those killed in the atrocity said.

Nine innocent people were killed when an IRA bomb exploded in Frizzell's fish ship without warning on busy Saturday afternoon on October 23, 1993. One of the IRA bombers was also killed.

Alan McBride lost his wife Sharon and father-in-law Desmond Frizzell in the explosion.

"I think probably this year will be the last big commemoration on the Shankill," he told BBC Good Morning Ulster.

"It's been 25 years, I didn't think I'd be talking on radio about my wife 25 years on."

Mr McBride said this year's commemoration "felt bigger" than previous anniversaries.

"Of course for families every year we remember... we never forget."

He added: "As people move on, you can't keep doing these things every year. There comes a time when we have to leave the past behind and move forward. That is difficult for some people and for families they will never forget.

"We did something on 20 years, and now on 25, will it be 30 years, or 35 years?

"It's impossible to say, but it could well be the last."

Close

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

Charlie Butler lost his niece, her partner and her child, aged just seven in the atrocity. On the day he was among the first responders who scrambled through the rubble to search for survivors.

He disagreed this year could be the last of the public commemorations, saying it would be difficult to say no to the family of anyone who lost a loved one if they wanted the occasion marked.

"The families want to move on, we want to move on but unfortunately it is the politicians that keep drawing us back in again," He said.

"It's 25 years to other people to us its not.... it doesn't get easier but I do feel we have to talk about it.

"We really need to look back - particularly for the younger ones - this can't happen again."

Mr McBride acknowledged he got very angry at Gerry Adams in the aftermath of the bombing after the then Sinn Fein president carried the coffin of bomber Thomas Begley.

"I didn't know where else to direct my anger," he said.

"[Gerry Adams] was on the tv, he was in the media and he was an obvious person to target and I did."

Sixteen years on from the bombing Mr McBride and Mr Adams came face-to-face in a meeting and shook hands. He said as a "peace-builder" he had to made peace with his enemies, not his friends.

Mr McBride said as the years progressed he considered why his wife was killed. He thought of his own upbringing on a loyalist estate saying his father was in the UDA.

"So I knew people that got involved in terrorism and paramilitaries," he added.

"While absolutely they are responsible for carrying out the Shankill bombing - and I am not trying to justify it in any shape of form the people that did it were responsible - but they themselves were 19 years old, they were young people, children that grew up in this society.

"So I started to think if we are serious about building peace here we have to cast the net much wider in terms of just blaming paramilitaries and perpetrators and we must look at other issues."

He added: "There were many people involved in terrorism, not just those that planted bombs and carried guns.

"Now I feel it is probably better to sit around a table and talk to people than sitting on the outside hurling insults."

He said his change in approach had brought criticism, including from his own community, that he was "soft on terrorism," something he outright denied was his stance.

"I am as opposed to terrorists now, just as I was then. I just think it is too easy to point the finger at just those that planted bombs and carried guns. There was a lot of people involved in violence that didn't carry out terrorists attacks but in terms of how they incited others. Even now the very fact they are not prepared to reach out the hand of friendship and there are still sectarian attitudes.

"It's my journey and a journey I have been on.... I can handle my critics, I sleep quite soundly."

Those killed in the bomb were 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.

Also killed was IRA bomber Thomas Begley, while 57 people were injured in the blast.

Begley along with Sean Kelly wore white coats and posed as delivery men as they carried the bomb into the shop. Kelly was given nine life sentences for his role in the attack and released in July 2000 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Five years ago and speaking at an event in memory of Begley, he said the bombing was an IRA operation which went "tragically wrong". He told republicans he was "truly sorry for the loss of life and the injuries that were suffered that day, and for the suffering the families have endured".

A documentary will be screened on BBC One at 9pm on Monday.

Belfast Telegraph