The Secret IRA Meetings: Contacts welcomed by bomb victim's father

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The Independent Online
THE FATHER of Tim Parry, one of the Warrington bomb victims, said yesterday that the Government's recent communications with the IRA 'neither surprised nor disturbed' him and that they could provide a historic opportunity for peace, writes Jojo Moyes.

Colin Parry, 46, said: 'I know some people are talking to people whose views they find distasteful and vile and I understand . . . but . . . there comes a time when you have to speak to your enemy. Mandela and de Klerk did it, so did Arafat and Rabin. I can't honestly hope to see how we can make any progress otherwise.'

He added: 'My position is quite simple in many ways. I lost my son and I was hoping he wouldn't die in vain. That was the one hope - that serious-minded politicians and community leaders would start to really communicate with each other.'

Mr Parry's son Tim, 12, died along with three-year-old Johnathan Ball when the IRA placed a bomb in a rubbish bin in the centre of Warrington, Cheshire, last March - a month after the IRA is alleged to have first approached the Government for advice on how to bring the conflict to a close.

At his son's funeral, Mr Parry said it would be a 'unique achievement' if his son became a symbol of hope and peace after so much tragedy. He said yesterday that if something did now come from these communications then perhaps his son could be seen not to have died in vain.

(Photograph omitted)