>> 29 Jul 2004

Wilf Ball RIP


I was saddened to hear of the news of the death of Wilf Ball.  He was the 69-year old father of IRA victim, Jonathan Ball, who was killed in a bomb attack along with Tim Parry in Warrington, Cheshire eleven years ago.  My thoughts at this time go to other members of his family who will be still struggling with the legacy of that terrible date - 20th March 1993.

I remember the date as if it was yesterday.  It was not long after I had returned to live in Yorkshire after spending a good deal of my childhood in South East London.   I knew Warrington well: it is only 40 minutes away down the M62.  I could not believe the barbarity of the acts committed against two young children.  Although my paternal family roots come from the heart of Protestant Co Antrim, I had never taken a great deal of interest in Ulster's politics (save for my attendance at a rally against the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985).  It was the events of that Saturday - the day before Mother's Day - that first aroused my intensive interest in the situation on the periphery of my country, and convinced me that only the comprehensive defeat of terrorism by the forces of the British State would ever guarantee a real, permanent peace in Northern Ireland.

Tim Parry was 12; Jonathan Ball was a mere three years of age.  They were killed by an IRA bomb placed in a litter bin in the town centre.  You see, in the malefeasant doctrine of Irish republicanism, that's what 'freedom fighters' do: they plant bombs in areas populated by civilians in the hope of maiming or killing as many as possible.  Maybe IRA 'volunteers' will attempt to convince us all that a 3-year old child was somehow an informer for the British State.  I earnestly pray that the soul of Mr Ball is now reunited with his son.  It is so sad to hear of a death in these circumstances - especially when one has died alone.

Wilf Ball - 1935-2004


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