Northern Ireland

Mother's Day: Warrington bomb film 'shows life after losing a child'

Tim Parry Image copyright Parry family
Image caption Tim Parry was one of two young boys killed by the Warrington bomb in 1993

A mother whose youngest son was killed by an IRA bomb 25 years ago believes a new drama about the attack will show other grieving parents that "there is life after losing a child".

Tim Parry was 12 when he was fatally injured in Warrington in England on the eve of Mother's Day in 1993.

His mother Wendy Parry said that losing her son had left her family living a "completely different life".

She and husband, Colin, have channelled their grief into pushing for peace.

Tim had gone into the centre of his hometown to buy a pair of Everton football shorts on 20 March 1993 but he never returned home.

Image caption The IRA bombing in Warrington prompted protests about the violence of the Troubles

He and three-year-old Johnathan Ball died and 54 others were hurt after the Provisional IRA detonated bombs that had been hidden inside bins.

No-one has been prosecuted for the bombing.

'Our hopes rose'

A new BBC drama called Mother's Day revisits the attack, its aftermath and the public outrage at the boys' deaths.

Speaking ahead of its broadcast on Monday night, Mrs Parry said the images of the day of the bombing are always "at the back of your mind".

"We weren't angry - we were just so consumed with grief that anger never came into it," she told BBC Radio Ulster's The Sunday News.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Colin and Wendy Parry met ex-IRA leader Martin McGuinness when he gave a peace lecture in 2013

"Tim was a very outgoing, fun-loving young boy, he was involved in everything - about a month before he was killed he passed his solo sailing certificate."

Tim's father Colin said that his "hopes rose" that his son could survive after the boy defied doctors' predictions in the first few days after the attack.

"We thought there was a chance he would survive, albeit in a very different form because he was so badly injured he would've very probably had a terribly poor quality of life," said Mr Parry.

"But on the Wednesday the doctors told us the brain tests had proved beyond a shadow of a doubt there was no brain activity.

"[They said] therefore it was futile keeping him alive and we should prepare to let him go on the Thursday, which was the fifth day after the bombing."

Image caption Colin and Wendy Parry are played by Daniel Mays and Anna Maxwell Martin in Mother's Day

Mrs Parry said her son is remembered by the family "all the time", with a charity and a peace centre in Warrington having been set up in the names of him and Johnathan.

"Even our grandchildren, who never knew Tim, talk about him as though did know him.

"We remember him all the time, we raise a glass to him - he will never ever be forgotten in our family."

'Enough is enough'

The bombing prompted anger at the loss of young life and led Irish mother Susan McHugh to organise a peace rally, with people protesting against the violence of the Troubles.

Susan addressed a crowd of thousands in Dublin eight days after the Warrington bombing.

"Please, please, please, make it stop," she shouted.

The Mother's Day film documents how Mrs Parry and Ms McHugh - living either side of the Irish Sea - were brought together in the wake of the tragedy.

"I thought Susan was very brave doing what she did at that time," said Mrs Parry.

Image caption Vicky McClure plays Susan McHugh in Mother's Day

"She certainly allowed people to come out and basically say: 'Enough is enough.'

"The fact that thousands of people turned up that day was proof that people had had enough.

"I think that's the first time that had ever happened - I think people maybe would've been quite wary about doing something like that."

Mrs Parry had a message of hope for parents who have suffered the death of a child.

"Watching the film, people will see that there is life after losing a child.

"It might be a completely different life - you find a new normal - but there is light at the end of the tunnel."

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