• Marking the 25th anniversary of the Warrington bombing

    It was very humbling and deeply moving to be with the families of Tim Parry and Jonathan Ball in Warrington today to mark the 25th anniversary of the IRA bombing which killed both children.

    The event was also attended by HRH The Princess Royal, the Irish Ambassador in Britain, Metro Mayors Steve Rotherham and Andy Burnham, and civic and religious leaders from across our region.

    Many people in the borough of St Helens, particularly where I live in Newton-le-Willows, have strong connections to Warrington and were deeply affected by the bombing.

    I was there at today’s poignant event as the MP for those neighbouring towns to demonstrate that the solidarity our community showed with the people of Warrington in that dark hour is just as strong today.

    Colin Parry’s remarkably generous and moving words were an inspiration to us all. He and Wendy, and the work of the Peace Centre they founded, have made a remarkable contribution to building better relations between Britain and Ireland.

    The awfulness of such terrible destruction could easily have led to hatred and anger. Instead, the determination and generosity of the Parry and Balls families and the people of Warrington helped further peace and reconciliation. That important work has and continues to make a difference, and is the lasting legacy of the two young boys we gathered to remember today.

    (Photo from Dave Gillespie at the Warrington Guardian)