A TOWN will come together today ahead of the 20th anniversary of an IRA bomb attack which killed two young boys.
The Warrington bombing, on March 20 1993, tore through the Cheshire town’s shopping centre and instantly killed 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 and exploded shortly after midday that Saturday afternoon.
No warning was given and nobody has ever been prosecuted for the outrage, which took place the day before Mothering Sunday.
In the aftermath of the atrocity there was a public outcry in the UK and in Dublin, where a book of condolence was opened at the General Post Office.
Tim’s parents Colin and Wendy set up the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace which has since become an internationally recognised centre for conflict resolution and victim support.
The couple will join survivors, civic leaders and the local community at a commemorative event on Bridge Street, where the bombs struck, today.
Johnathan’s family will be represented by relatives of his parents. His father, Wilf, died in 2004 and his mother, Marie Comerford, died in 2009..
The leader of Warrington Council, Coun Terry O’Neil, said: “We believe it is important to mark this anniversary as what happened is now part of our history.
“Warrington was united in grief but also in our determination to move forward and build a positive future and so as we come together in commemoration it is also a time to celebrate our remarkable achievements during the past two decades and our unfaltering community spirit.”
Afterwards, the Foundation will host a “community reflection event” at the Peace Centre where their work is carried out.
Nick Taylor, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Following the commemoration service at Bridge Street, we will open the doors of the Peace Centre to invite everyone from Warrington and beyond to visit this remarkable building and find out more about the unique work that the centre and Foundation carries out to create a more peaceful world.
“The centre, in memory of Tim and Johnathan, will be fully open to view all the facilities and there will be activities for all the family and an opportunity to come together to reflect and also celebrate the positive approach that Warrington and the Foundation for Peace is making to promote peace and reconciliation.”