Lancashire

Warrington Peace Centre vandalised on Remembrance Sunday

A wooden panel covers a broken window at the Warrington Peace centre
Image caption Thousands of pounds worth of damage has been done to the peace centre

A gang of masked youths have been condemned for their "senseless" violence after attacking a centre which campaigns for peace.

It is the first time the Warrington Peace Centre has been vandalised since opening in 2000 as a memorial to two boys killed in an IRA bombing.

Wendy Parry, whose son Tim died in the 1993 attack, said the youths showed "no respect" for the centre's work.

Cheshire Police are investigating the attack on Remembrance Sunday.

In a statement, the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation charity said a group of youth with their faces covered smashed a glass panel "with considerable force".

Mrs Parry who set up the centre in the town with her husband Colin, was one of the first to view the damage.

"Do the young people who did this have no respect for what this building stands for, the memory of Tim and Johnathan and a place that helps their community?"

Image caption Wendy Parry proposed building a peace centre as a memorial to the two boys killed in the Warrington IRA bombing

Chief executive of the foundation, Nick Taylor, said the attack on the centre was thought to be "part of a wider spate of vandalism".

"There is no evidence it is related to Remembrance Sunday, but it is an act of violence on a poignant day which is about peace," he said.

"The Peace Foundation has also made clear that if the people are identified they will ask them to visit the Peace Centre to learn about our work by way of reparation and seek community payback."

Image copyright Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation
Image caption The Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball Peace centre in Warrington

On 20 March 1993, the IRA exploded two bombs without warning on Bridge Street in Warrington, killing three-year-old Johnathan Ball and 12-year-old Tim Parry and injuring 54 others.

Nobody has ever been prosecuted for their deaths.

Colin and Wendy Parry set up the Warrington Peace Foundation in 1995 and later founded the Peace Centre, which opened on the seventh anniversary of the bomb in 2000, as a memorial to the boys.

The foundation works with communities across the UK, in building peace and conflict resolution skills and helping those at risk of violence and extremism.

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