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'With their tanks and their bombs': The inside story of The Cranberries' hit Zombie

Inspired by the human cost of IRA violence, the Dolores O'Riordan-penned hit has become the first Irish song to pass a billion views on YouTube, writes Ed Power

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Heavy sound: Dolores O’Riordan performing 'Zombie' on Saturday Night Live with The Cranberries in the US in 1995

Heavy sound: Dolores O’Riordan performing 'Zombie' on Saturday Night Live with The Cranberries in the US in 1995

The video for Zombie has been streamed more than a billion times

The video for Zombie has been streamed more than a billion times

Victim: three-year-old Johnathan Ball

Victim: three-year-old Johnathan Ball

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Heavy sound: Dolores O’Riordan performing 'Zombie' on Saturday Night Live with The Cranberries in the US in 1995

On March 20, 1993 two IRA bombs detonated on a busy shopping street in Warrington. The blasts were a minute apart - calculated to cause maximum devastation. The first explosion was outside a Boots, the second near an Argos. The incendiaries had been placed inside cast iron bins, so as to inflict extensive shrapnel damage.

As the IRA had planned, many of those fleeing the first bomb ran straight into the path of the second. Three-year-old Johnathan Ball was killed at the scene; five days later 12-year-old Tim Parry died from injuries sustained in the assault.


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