Warrington marks 28th anniversary of IRA bombing which claimed the lives of two young boys

Warrington marks 28th anniversary of IRA bombing which claimed the lives of two young boys

THE ENGLISH town of Warrington marked one of the darkest days in its history when, 28 years ago today, an IRA bomb claimed the lives of two young boys. 

56 shoppers were injured in the blast on Bridge Street in Warrington town centre. 

Johnathan Ball, who was only three at the time, died instantly.  

Tim Parry, 12, died five days later in hospital. 

Four others were seriously injured including Bronwen Vickers, a 32-year-old mother-of-two who had to have her leg amputated. She died of cancer a year after the bombing. 

The attack was carried out by the IRA as part of an ongoing campaign designed to pressure the UK Government into withdrawing from Northern Ireland. 

A few weeks earlier, they had targeted a gas-storage plant in Warrington.  

The harrowing scenes witnessed by those who survived the attack and those providing support as part of the emergency services left mental scars unlikely to ever heal. 

No one has ever been held to account for the bombing, 

However, in the wake of the atrocity, the people of Warrington came together in solidarity and peace. 

Tim Parry’s parents Colin and Wendy Parry founded The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace and the Peace Centre, which opened on the seventh anniversary of the bombing. 

The foundation focuses on the reconciliation of communities in conflict. 

Warrington played an important role in the forging of the Good Friday Agreement.  

While Johnathan’s parents Wilf and Marie Ball have both sadly passed away, a monument to their son and fellow victim Tim now stands on Bridge Street. 

The River of Life, created in memory of the boys, stood today on a quiet, silent Saturday, with Warrington under strict lockdown alongside much of the UK. 

Colin and Wendy Parry paid tribute on Twitter. 

28 yrs ago today, there was sunshine in the sky and a smile on Tim’s face as he went to buy Everton shorts,” Colin wrote. 

“2 men had other plans - to bomb a shopping street. Their plan succeeded but Tim’s did not as his smile died with him on that dark day. RIP Tim x” 

Wendy said: “28 years have gone so quickly. 28 years since our beautiful son went to town and then spent the next 5 days on a life support machine. We will never know who killed Tim, but i hope they have seen the hurt they have caused each and every day.” 

Actor Daniel Mays also paid his respects with a heartfelt message on the platform: 

“My thoughts today are with my friends @ColinParryPeace@WendyParry4P and everyone @peacefoundation on the 28th anniversary of the Warrington bombing. Johnathan Ball and their son Tim were needlessly taken that day. Through the incredible work @peacefoundation we remember them.” 

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also tweeted in memory of the two boys: 

“On the 28th anniversary of the Warrington bombing, my thoughts are with the families of Johnathan Ball and Tim Parry. They were aged just 3 and 12 years old when they were killed by an act of terrorism. Their memory lives on through the @peacefoundation" 

A day earlier The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace held a special online memorial to mark the date.