omagh

Warrington delegation to support the people of Omagh at the 15th anniversary of the bombing

August 9, 2013 | Nick Taylor

Members of the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace team travel to Omagh, County Tyrone this weekend (Sunday 11th August 2013) to take part in a ceremony to honour and remember the victims of the 1998 Omagh bombing.

The team will join members of the Omagh Support & Self Help Group at a memorial service to held in the Garden of Light on Sunday 11th August 2013 commencing at 15:00.

The Omagh bombing was a car bomb attack carried out by the Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA), a splinter group of former Provisional Irish Republican Army members opposed to the Good Friday Agreement, on Saturday 15 August 1998, in Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Twenty-nine people died as a result of the attack and approximately 220 people were injured. The attack was described by the BBC as “Northern Ireland’s worst single terrorist atrocity.”

Travelling as part of the Foundation delegation will be Harriet Vickers, age 20, from Knutsford Cheshire, who was13 days old when she was caught in the Warrington bombing and her mother later died as a result of her injuries.

Harriet is one of three young ambassadors who recently participated in the New York Strength to Strength programme and will be reading some of the poems that were sent from individuals all over the world immediately after the 15th August 1998. Joining Harriet will be Megan Lindsay age 14, her grandfather was an RUC officer killed in a bomb attack in 1981 and Caoimhe Doherty age 15, his brother Oran was killed in the Omagh Bomb. Harriet will be sharing a poem that hangs in the Peace Centre.

The Foundation team will also take part in the ‘Stars of Hope’ project, a unique disaster relief/community art project that empowers communities devastated by natural disasters like tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes, and floods as well as man-made disasters such as mass-shootings, bombings and industrial accidents, to paint hopeful messages, inspirational words, and colourful designs on wooden stars as part of their personal, and their community’s collective, healing process.

The hand-painted stars are then planted on street corners, and attached to poles and fences throughout communities grieving. Omagh Support & Self Help Group will display these stars in the Omagh bomb garden of remembrance on 11th August 2013 and afterwards many of the stars will be transported to New York for distribution across the world.

Jo Dover, who leads the Foundation’s work with victims of terrorism said: “Our visit to Omagh demonstrates the shared experience with Warrington and helps us stand with them on their anniversary as they did with us this year on our 20th anniversary.

“Our professional team are also present to talk to anyone affected and to communicate what our programmes offer to support individuals and communities affected by terrorism.”

The lyrics of a song read by Harriet at the ceremony:

These are lyrics from a song written by Tom McCarthy, which have been written up and are on a wall in the Peace Centre in Warrington. The Mayor of Limerick presented these words to Colin Parry in 1994 and we would like to share these words with you in Omagh, from us in Warrington.

Peace Together

We find it in the ocean

We find it in the sky

We find it in a handshake

When we say goodbye

Peace is everywhere in everything we do

The sadness of it all

Violence is there too.

Peace is not easy

To find in bitterness

Let’s try live together

Clean up this awful mess

Listen to our children, they’re telling us we’re wrong

Why can’t we stop the fighting and try to get along

We want to start living In a peaceful way

Don’t wait until tomorrow

Don’t waste another day

Do it for our daughters, do it for our sons

Please stop the fighting and put away our guns

We find it in the ocean

We find it in the sky

We find it in a handshake

When we say goodbye

Peace is everywhere in everything we do

The sadness of it all

Violence is there too.

Peace will not give in

To violence and crime

Tomorrow is another day

Let’s stop wasting time

Listen to our children their telling us we’re wrong

Why can’t we stop the fighting and try to get along

ENDS

Omagh Support & Self Help Group (OSSHG) was founded in the aftermath of the Omagh Bomb in August 1998 to act as a source of support and solace for those adversely affected. OSSHG is a victims group, with a current membership of over 170 victims of the bombing. www.omaghbomb.co.uk