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30th anniversary of Shankill bombing to be marked

A new memorial is to be unveiled later to mark the 30th anniversary of an IRA bomb blast which devastated Belfast’s Shankill Road.

Nine people, including two young girls, were killed in the bombing of Frizzell’s fish shop on October 23 1993, while dozens were injured.

One of the IRA bombers was also killed in the blast.

The victims were the fish shop owner, John Frizzell, 63, his daughter Sharon McBride, 29, Michael Morrison, 27, his partner Evelyn Baird, 27, their daughter, Michelle, seven, George Williamson, 63, Gillian Williamson, 49, Wilma McKee, 38, and Leanne Murray, 13.

Shankill Road Bomb Blast
The scene following the Shankill Road bombing in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1993 (PA)

There was further devastation a week later when eight people were killed by loyalists in Greysteel, Co Londonderry, in what was regarded as a retaliatory attack.

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Crowds turned out on the Shankill Road on Saturday for a procession and an act of remembrance at the site where Frizzell’s fish shop once stood.

Later on Monday, a new memorial will be unveiled at the site ahead of a church service to mark the date of the 30th anniversary.

Speaking ahead of the event, UUP leader Doug Beattie challenged Sinn Fein to “recognise the suffering” caused by the actions of the Provisional IRA, and to “condemn all terrorist actions, regardless of the perpetrators”.

“On this, the 30th anniversary of the Shankill bombing, the Ulster Unionist Party joins with the entire community in remembering the nine innocent people who were murdered by the Provisional IRA on October 23 1993,” he said.

“We also remember the many others who were injured, both physically and mentally, by this atrocity. The scars of the Shankill bombing run deep, and the pain of loss and trauma is still felt by many today.

“The Shankill bombing was a cold-blooded act of murder that targeted innocent civilians. It was an act of pure evil, the images of which sent shockwaves around the world.

“Thirty years on, we are particularly appalled by the continued eulogising of the bombers by Sinn Fein. This is deeply insensitive to the innocent victims and their families, and it only serves to prolong the pain and suffering caused by the IRA’s campaign of terrorism.”