A memorial service was held for the bomb victims of the Balmoral furniture company on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the atrocity.
our people, including two infants, were killed in the blast that occurred without warning on the Shankill Road on December 11, 1971.
Among those in attendance were Jackie and Ann Nichol, whose son Colin Nichol was only 17 months old when he was crushed by a wall of his pram from the bomb.
A poignant memory this afternoon for the victims of the bombing of the Balmoral furniture store on Shankill Road on the occasion of the 50th anniversary, with Mr Nicholl speaking. We will remember them. pic.twitter.com/rltmPpijZI
– Brian Kingston (@BrianKingston) December 11, 2021
Addressing those gathered, Mr. Nichol said, âWe would like to thank the people who organized this ceremony of remembrance today.
âWe are eternally grateful to them. We are grateful to all the people of Shankill, who have shown us over the years, help and love, enduring our lives.
âWe would like to thank each of these people. They have given us tremendous support over the years.
âIt was not the only bomb on the Shankill, many tragedies took place. We remember these people today as much as we remember ours. “
Mr Nichol also criticized the police, saying they had never approached her family to talk about the tragedy.
âOf course, with every platitude that we have to give, we also face criticism,â he said.
âFor example, not once in 50 years has a PSNI or RUC member called my wife and I to talk about the tragedy and our son. Not once have they come to the door.
A plaque was donated in the name of the Nichol family to mark the anniversary.
He said: “In memory of those who were killed there, and in honor of those who were injured on December 11, 1971, by a sectarian IRA murder gang.”
Local DUP adviser Brian Kingston said it was great to see such support in the community for the families of the victims.
He told the PA News Agency: âIt was a very poignant memorial service, hosted by the local community.
âI was very happy to see Mr. and Mrs. Nicholl, father of Charlie Nicholl present.
âIt meant a lot to them to see the support they have in the Shankill community.
âThe ceremony took place at the same time the bomb went off, 50 years ago today. It was quite moving. “
He added: âThis bomb without warning was an act of depraved terrorism. We must never go back to such indiscriminate violence.
âThere is so much support for the families of the victims, we have seen it today. We must continue to give them this support, because these families still mourn their loved ones.
âThis community continues to remember these victims.
“I was talking to some of the older community members here in Shankill and they remember it like it was yesterday.”
More than 80 people attended the service on Saturday afternoon, including representatives from PSNI, the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and the Fire and Rescue Service.
50 years ago this week, we saw what terrorism offered to society in the Balmoral furniture store bombing and the McGurks bar bombing.
Although half a century ago, there are those who still feel pain today. All deserve truth and justice. pic.twitter.com/ctu8avIOiF
– Doug Beattie (@BeattieDoug) December 11, 2021
The tragedy claimed four lives – Hugh Bruce, 70, Harold King, 29, Tracey Jane Munn, two, and Colin Nicholl, 17 months.
Another 19 people were injured in the attack, which was reportedly carried out by the Provisional IRA.
It is widely believed that the bombing was a response to the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) bombing of McGurk’s Bar a week earlier, which killed 15 Catholic civilians.
Ulster Unionist Party leader Doug Beattie tweeted: â50 years ago this week we saw what terrorism offered to society in the bombing of the Balmoral furniture store. and the one at McGurks Bar.
âAlthough half a century ago, there are those who still feel pain today. All deserve truth and justice.