BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 20 March 2008, 14:02 GMT
Tributes to IRA bombing victims
Warrington bomb aftermath
The area was packed with shoppers when the bombs went off
A memorial event has been held to remember those who were killed and injured in the IRA bombing of Warrington town centre 15 years ago.

Tim Parry, 12, and Johnathan Ball, three, died and 56 people were hurt in the two explosions on 20 March 1993.

Survivors joined the boys' families, town leaders and community members to lay white lilies at the scene.

Among the dozens attending the ceremony was Tim's brother Dominic, 29, who took his six-month-old daughter Olivia.

Mr Parry, who was 14 when his brother was killed, said: "We think about Tim every day, we think about what kind of boy he was and what kind of man he would have become.

"I've brought Olivia, even though she is only six months old, because I want her to know about her uncle and what has been achieved in his name."

Quite why they chose this town was beyond comprehension - I didn't know then and I still don't know now
Colin Parry

Rev Steven Kingsnorth, of the Warrington Borough Ministry, led a moment of reflection before the flowers were laid at the site on Bridge Street.

He said: "We remember those who died, those who were bereaved and those who, by working together, brought great hope out of devastation."

The two bombs, which had been placed in litter bins, went off as shoppers packed the area, many looking for Mother's Day gifts.

Johnathan had been in the town with his babysitter to buy a card for his mother.

Tim, an avid Everton fan, had been shopping for football shorts when he caught the full force of the blast. He died in hospital five days later.

Lilies are laid at the blast scene
Lilies were laid at the blast scene in the town centre

Despite one of the biggest murder investigations ever launched by Cheshire Police at the time, the bombers have never been caught.

On Thursday, a police spokeswoman said: "Two boys lost their lives that day, no-one was brought to justice and our files will always remain open."

In the aftermath of the bombing, Tim's father Colin Parry set up a charity, the Foundation for Peace, which runs educational programmes.

Known locally as the Peace Centre, it has also acted as a support service for people bereaved, injured or traumatised in trouble linked to Northern Ireland.

Mr Parry said: "There was absolutely no reason why a town such as Warrington should be hit by the IRA.

"Quite why they chose this town was beyond comprehension. I didn't know then and I still don't know now."

Despite being forced to deal with the tragedy of losing his son, Mr Parry said the bombing had a "significant" impact on the peace process in Northern Ireland.

"I think it was that event in Warrington that compelled the Irish government to sit down with the English government in a way they had never considered before," said Mr Parry.

"That's when change began to happen and all of that, in my opinion, was changed by Tim's and Johnathan's deaths."



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Jonathan Ball and Tim Parry remembrance service



SEE ALSO
Adams apologises to boy's family
01 Nov 07 |  Northern Ireland
Peace centre praised for project
12 Oct 07 |  Merseyside
Youngsters united at peace centre
09 Sep 06 |  Merseyside
Honour for father of IRA victim
12 Jun 04 |  England
IRA bomb victims remembered
20 Mar 03 |  England

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific