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Survivors and relatives of Ballygawley bus bomb attend memorial events


The scene of the Ballygawley bus bomb that killed eight soldiers

The scene of the Ballygawley bus bomb that killed eight soldiers

The scene of the Ballygawley bus bomb that killed eight soldiers

Survivors of the Ballygawley bus bombing have joined with relatives of soldiers killed in the IRA atrocity for remembrance services in Co Tyrone and England.

Yesterday marked the 29th anniversary of the roadside bomb attack by the IRA on a bus carrying a group of 36 soldiers from the Light Infantry Regiment back to their base in Co Tyrone from Belfast International Airport following leave.

Eight soldiers were killed in the explosion on the road a short distance from Ballygawley, while a further 28 were injured in what was one of the deadliest attacks on the Army during the Troubles.

Services in memory of those who were killed took place yesterday in Shrewsbury in the north of England as well as at the roadside in Tyrone where the atrocity took place.

Ulster Unionist councillor Allan Rainey was among those who attended the service in Northern Ireland along with former members of the Light Infantry Regiment, including two buglers, and local residents.

He brought eight sunflowers to the memorial at the side of the road to remember those who died.

"It was a poignant service and we were glad to attend to show the guys from the Light Infantry who organised the service our support. The Last Post was played and wreaths laid in remembrance," he said.

Londonderry woman Grace Curry, who was among the members of two loyalist bands who stopped at the scene to help the victims on that night paid tribute and insisted that those behind the attack which caused so much destruction "didn't get it all their own way".

She said that her circle of close friends has grown bigger due to the bond between those who helped, the survivors of the bomb and relatives of those whose lives were claimed.

"Sleep tight boys, you will never be forgotten," she said.

Plans are already under way for a larger scale commemoration next year to mark the 30th anniversary of the bombing.

Belfast Telegraph