Warrington recalls IRA bombing 20 years on

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Media captionTwenty doves are released on Bridge Street, where the bombs were detonated

Hundreds of people in Warrington have gathered to remember an IRA bomb attack which killed two boys 20 years ago.

Johnathan Ball, three, died when two bombs hidden in litter bins detonated on Bridge Street on 20 March 1993. Tim Parry, 12, died five days later.

A civic service took place at the scene before a minute's silence was held at 12:27 GMT, the time the bombs went off.

Community members are also holding an event at Warrington Peace Centre, set up by Tim`s father Colin Parry.

Mr Parry, co-founder of the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace, said: "We're opening up the Peace Centre to anybody who wants to come and see it.

Doves released

"There are many, many more people in Warrington and the surrounding region who have never ever set foot in the Peace Centre than who have.

"There'll be music, there'll be poetry readings, there'll be opportunities to look around the place to see and hear about the work we do."

The ceremony featured speeches from Warrington Mayor Steve Wright, Warrington Council leader Terry O'Neill, minister of state for Northern Ireland Mike Penning MP and Mayor of Lisburn Alderman William Leathem.

Image caption Johnathan Ball, three, and Tim Parry, 12, died in the IRA bombing

Just before the minute's silence, Tim Parry's mother Wendy released 20 doves into the sky, and 20 balloons were released by the Ball family.

Deputy leader of Warrington Council Mike Hannon said: "It's a huge occasion for Warrington and it is showing everybody that Warrington has responded positively to what happened 20 years ago.

"The incident in Bridge Street, it shocked the country, it shocked the world. We were all asking the question why?

"We can look back now, today is a commemoration event and there is many things we can celebrate with what we've achieved."

He added: "I applaud Colin and Wendy for what they have done.

"We've got to admire the role they have played and the ambassadors they have been in the peace and reconciliation movement."

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