IF anyone still has any doubts on the pivotal role Warrington played in the peace process in Northern Ireland following the IRA bomb attack on the town 25 years ago, the forthcoming BBC factual drama “Mother’s Day” is must watch TV.
The same applies for anyone too young to remember that fateful day when the IRA planted two bombs in litter bins in Warrington town centre, claiming the lives of 12-year-old Tim Parry and three-year-old Johnathan Ball and injuring more than 50 others.
As a young reporter who covered the Warrington bombing on Bridge Street on March 20, 1993 and then went on to report on the aftermath and Warrington’s response of peace and reconciliation, this factual based drama left a lump in my throat and brought back many memories.
It made me realise more than ever, the strength of those most closely affected, like Colin and Wendy, who lost their son Tim and also gave me great pride in how my home town responded to atrocity with peace and reconciliation.
Watching the drama unfold on a big screen in the Peace Centre, which has become a lasting legacy to the two boys and other victims, alongside Colin and Wendy, their other children Dominic and Abbi, Peace 93 campaigner Susan McHugh and the actors who play their roles, was a surreal experience.
A 100 plus invited audience was gripped by the drama from beginning to end followed a Q&A session (see above).
It brought back many memories and provided a fascinating insight into how the Warrington bombing impacted on two ordinary families who developed into extra-ordinary people.
Covering just a four week time slot from the day the bombs went off, there was some disappointment the drama didn’t include any mention of the Peace Foundation and how the Peace Centre became a lasting legacy to the memory of Tim and Johnathan. Hopefully this can be feature of a future production on this ongoing legacy, when good triumphed over evil.
The 90 minute drama will air on September 3 on BBC Two and focuses on two women living either side of the Irish Sea, brought together in the wake of the tragedy.
Written by Newton-le-Willows based Nick Leather (Murdered For Being Different), Vicky McClure (Line of Duty) plays Susan McHugh, the Dublin mother of two so outraged by the loss of young life that she organised one of the largest peace rallies in Irish history, leading thousands through the streets in protest at the continued violence of the Troubles, which became the Peace 93 movement
Anna Maxwell Martin (Motherland) plays Wendy Parry, the mother of 12 year old Tim, who lost his life in the attack which left two boys dead and many others injured.
Daniel Mays (Against The Law) will play Tim’s father Colin Parry, with David Wilmot (The Alienist) as Arthur McHugh.