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Anorak | Warrington victim’s memorial stolen by thieves – other are legally sold off by the state

Warrington victim’s memorial stolen by thieves – other are legally sold off by the state

by | 18th, May 2012

SHOULD memorials stand for ever? News is that part of the River of Life memorial to victims of the 1993 Warrington bombing has been stolen form the town’s Bridge Street. On March 20 1993, an IRA bomb murdered Johnathan Ball, 3, and Tim Parry, 12. A further 56 people were injured. Two bombs had been hidden in litter bins. At 11:58 am, The Samaritans had received a coded warning that a bomb had bee planted by a branch of Boots in Liverpool. At 12:12 the bombs went off in Warrington, 16 miles away.

The IRA had targeted Warrington not long before. On 25 February 1993, a trio of IRA operatives planted Semtex in a Warrington gas storage depot. In making their escape, they shot a police officer. The men were soon arrested.

Was it out of revenge for those arrests that the IRA then planted bombs among the shoppers on a busy Saturday afternoon, giving a misdirected warning that left the police no time to act? One thing is certain: the killers have never been brought to justice.

After the horror, Tim Parry’s parents Colin and Wendy Parry became active campaigners for peace. Even years after the murders, the Tim Parry-Johnathan Ball Young People’s Centre was opened.

It is run by the NSPCC and the Tim Parry-Johnathan Ball Trust, a charity:

The Foundation helps others affected by political, racial or faith based conflict and acts of terrorism, by encouraging them to follow our founders’ example and help to prevent violence in their own communities and beyond…in the name of peace and reconciliation.

The Foundation is the only UK charitable organisation which supports victims and survivors of acts of terrorism through the provision of learning programmes which explore the causes and effects of conflict and its resolution through non-violent means…

You can donate here.

The IRA ended it war with the British state in 1994. What’s happened since has been a story of history revisited in official reviews and apologies, and dull TV and politics, in which elite grey men talk over and over about the past while the rest of Ireland gets on with the day to day and wondering about the future. The IRA wanted equality and national self-determination. They enjoyed widespread support among working-class Catholics, who agreed that violence was the only means available to achieve the goal of a united Ireland. That fight is over. The Good Friday Agreement and Northern Ireland Assembly have done their best to quash the spirit of violent uprising. There is no armed fight for a united Ireland. If Ireland does return to its Troubled past, it will not be because of bloodlust, but because the institutions of leadership are flimsy and do not command respect or enfranchisement.

Back to the plaque. Colin Parry tells the Daily Mail:

“It makes me feel utter disgust and it is reprehensible that someone should disfigure what is a memorial to two young boys and see it as something they can make money from without any consideration for the families who lost loved ones. It beggars belief that people can be so heartless and I don’t expect that they have any conscience. It is remarkable the lengths that some people will go to make some cash and it is one of those crimes that is so off the scale that it is disgusting.”

It is. But it is no more disgusting than any other theft. What gets stolen makes no difference to the thieves. The past does not matter to them. The plaque is not the memory. It can be replaced, perhaps with one that also bares testimony of the murdered boys’ legacy.

In Bolton, the council plans to allow memorials left at the scene of road deaths to remain in place for no longer than 30 days. Any flowers, teddies or other items left in honour of a loved one will be removed and replaced by a sign telling the grieving that their tribute constituted an “immediate safety hazard” to pedestrians and motorists.

In 2011, Croydon council removed the Union Flag memorial sign erected to the memory of Lance Corporal Paul Knight, of New Addington. Mr Knight was killed  in a car accident after arriving back in Britain from Iraq in 2007.

In 2011, Tranmere FC, launched a bid to build houses on a World War One memorial field?

In 2001, Belgium authorities bulldozed a war memorial Royal Air Force.

In 2011, this Epsom church removed a memorial to soldiers who gave their lives for their country in World War 1.

Throughout the country, there are plans to reuse old graves. In Burton, they want to build homes and offices on top of graves.

Memorials to loved ones are removed all the time. Is there much difference between thieves removing one for profit and the councils that do the same?

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Audrey Kinsella outside the House of Commons today (Wed), following a news briefing before the start of a High Court appeal by her husband, John, against his 16-year prison sentence for possession of explosives linked to the IRA's February 1993 bombing of a gas holding station at Warrington, Cheshire. See PA story COURTS Bombing. Photo by Fiona Hanson/PA



Posted: 18th, May 2012 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink