Peace campaigner Colin Parry whose son Tim was killed in the 1993 Warrington bomb is offering support to victims of last night’s terrorist atrocity at Manchester Arena which left 22 dead.

Mr Parry set up The Peace Centre in Warrington in the wake of the IRA attack which killed his 12-year-old son and three-year-old Johnathan Ball.

He has sent a message to newly-elected Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham offering to support families going through what he and his wife Wendy went through all those years ago.

12-year-old Tim Parry and three-year-old Johnathan Ball who died in the Warrinton bombing on 20 March 1993

Mr Parry told The Chronicle: “It brings it back probably more than anything ever has because of the fact that it is overwhelmingly young people who have been affected. It’s absolutely heartbreaking for all the families going through what we went through.”

Mr Parry, who lives in Warrington, said his 10-year-old granddaughter Evie was ‘really upset’ about what had happened especially as she is a fan of American singer Ariana Grande who had just finished performing when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the foyer of the arena around 10.33pm.

Mr Parry continued: “Children went there to enjoy themselves, doing what they wanted to do, and families have been caught up in the middle of an awful event.”

Colin Parry, whose son Tim was killed during an IRA attack in Warrington back in 1993, addresses Liverpool City Council at the Town Hall in Castle Street, Liverpool Photo by James Maloney

The peace campaigner said at times like this politicians were keen to issue strong messages of defiance but such words were likely to have ‘very little impact’ on them.

“I hope they get the support they need. Very often people just need to talk to other people who have been through the same thing,” added Mr Parry, who said that was how he and his wife Wendy managed to survive.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and Manchester City Council Leader Sir Richard Leese speak to the media outside Manchester Town Hall after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving a pop concert in Manchester. Picture: Dave Higgens/PA Wire

“I have sent a message to Andy Burnham saying if we can be of any help then we are here. If people want to get away from home, get away from the city and go somewhere neutral and just talk to people, we are available.”

Mr Parry said it will take time for the victims and their families to begin to come to terms with what has happened and everyone was different. He said it was ‘about a year’ before his wife was able to walk down the street in Warrington town centre where their child was killed while it took him ‘rather less’ time.

Warrington bomb victims Liz and Gordon Edwards, of Helsby, feel said the Survivors for Peace programme is coming to an end at Colin Parry's Peace Centre
Warrington bomb victims Liz and Gordon Edwards, of Helsby, feel said the Survivors for Peace programme is coming to an end at Colin Parry's Peace Centre

Liz and Gordon Edwards, from Parkfield Drive, Helsby, are among victims of terrorism to benefit from the support of The Peace Centre. They were shopping in Warrington town centre when they were caught in the 1993 blast. Liz suffered serious leg and arm injuries in the attack as well as subsequent panic attacks.

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