Wednesday 17 October 2018

Young boys killed in IRA bomb 'did not die in vain', families say

Wendy and Colin Parry lay flowers at a 25th anniversary service for the victims of the Warrington bombing, who included their son Tim. Photo: PA
Wendy and Colin Parry lay flowers at a 25th anniversary service for the victims of the Warrington bombing, who included their son Tim. Photo: PA

Nathan Sandhu

The families of two children who died when IRA bombs exploded in a Cheshire town have spoken of how their deaths remain a "symbol for peace", 25 years after the atrocity.

Tim Parry (12) and three-year-old Johnathan Ball were killed when two devices hidden in litter bins were detonated without warning on March 20, 1993.

Johnathan died at the scene while Tim passed away five days later. More than 50 other people were left with life-changing injuries after the bombs exploded within a minute of each other. No one has ever been prosecuted over the deaths. The atrocity inspired The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan to write 'Zombie'.

Yesterday, Warrington fell silent at a memorial attended by Princess Anne and the Irish ambassador to the UK, Adrian O'Neill.

Wendy Parry opened up about her "bubbly and cheeky" son. "He was having golf lessons, he played squash with his dad, he played football for a Sunday team and school, he was having guitar lessons and he was a Sea Scout and he just got his solo sailing certificate," she said. "He wanted to do everything all the time. He had so many friends because he was so bubbly."

Johnathan's brother, Paul Comerford (41), said the tragic events of the day "broke all our hearts".

Tim Parry, 12, (right) and three-year-old Johnathan Ball (left) were killed when two devices hidden in litter bins were detonated without warning on March 20, 1993. Photo: PA
Tim Parry, 12, (right) and three-year-old Johnathan Ball (left) were killed when two devices hidden in litter bins were detonated without warning on March 20, 1993. Photo: PA

Speaking at the commemoration service, Tim's father Colin said it was a day to "reflect with great pride" on the response. "Neither Tim nor Johnathan died in vain. Over time, a ceasefire was agreed and the Good Friday Agreement was signed," he said. "My son has become a symbol for peace over the past 25 years."

Irish Independent

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