Lady was 5 days old. One of Gordon's best friends and his mother visited our home to meet the new baby. The sun was shining and the world seemed to be a kind, good place.
Then there was a call from home, a small town in county Tyrone not far from Omagh. For the first time, I heard about the bomb. I couldn't understand; why would there be a bomb going off in the middle of Omagh on an ordinary, sunny Saturday? The Irish people in the north and south had recently voted in huge numbers to accept a peace deal and in Northern Ireland, voters had elected First and Deputy Ministers for the devolved assembly. We had made it clear to the thugs with guns and bombs that we wanted an end to their rule of terror and that we were willing to accept compromises and make deals with our neighbours for the sake of living in peace. (The above photo shows the town minutes before the bomb, hidden in the red car, exploded. Several of the children on the left were killed.)
But the dissident republican murderers didn't care about what the people clearly wanted. They decided to plant a bomb in a town full of shoppers, children out getting school uniforms, day trippers and workers. They deliberately gave false information in the phone warning, so people were moved towards danger not away from it. In the end 29 people including 9 children died. In addition 2 unborn children died when their mother was killed.
A few of my family members were caught up in the carnage. One of them, only nine years old, was very badly injured and though he has thankfully recovered, he had to endure multiple major operations.
So that horrible day passed and the extent of the death and suffering was made known. Today, I want to pause to remember those who lost their lives, those who were injured and disabled, and the families left to grieve. I remember that no-one has ever been held accountable for the crime, and hope that those involved suffer for it, in some way, some day.