Campaigners renew IRA Docklands bomb compensation call on 25th anniversary

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ictims of the IRA London Docklands bombing have vowed to keep fighting for compensation as they mark the 25th anniversary of the tragic blast. A small number of socially-distanced survivors released doves at the spot as they commemorated the February 1996 bombing which killed two people and injured others. Jonathan Ganesh, president of the Docklands Victims Association, organised Sunday’s ceremony, which took place ahead of the anniversary on Tuesday.

He said: “Sadly Covid-19 has prevented us from physically being together today but I feel overjoyed that so many people have virtually attended online. “I feel very emotional as we have lost victims due to Covid-19 during this dreadful pandemic.” Mr Ganesh confirmed that The Berkeley Group will be constructing a special landscape memorial garden within its development of South Quay.

Former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi armed the IRA with the powerful explosive used in the bombing of Harrods in 1983, the Remembrance Day ceremony in Enniskillen in 1987, Warrington in 1993, and London’s Docklands. Ihsan Bashir, who’s brother Inam died in the bombing, has said he’s been trying to keep the family business going. His parents have since died.

He said: “We are fighters. “I have been fighting to keep their memory alive.” Joyce Brown, 64, who was cleaning in the Midland Bank building when the blast happened, recalled the harrowing incident.

“The doors were off their hinges and the ceiling had come in,” she said. “There was water pouring from the ceiling, there were sirens, all the blinds were swaying in the wind and there was this constant alarm.”

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The UK Government recently appointed William Shawcross as a Special Representative for UK Victims of Gaddafi-sponsored IRA terrorism and one of his tasks is to calculate the amount of compensation due. Mr Shawcross produced a report on compensation for victims of IRA attacks linked to Libyan explosives, which was delivered to the Government last year but has not yet been published.

Additional reporting by PA

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