Ceremony for Canary Wharf IRA attack victims [video]

Photo: Aikaterini Kalou

A memorial ceremony was held yesterday in South Quay Station to mark the anniversary of the IRA bombing of Canary Wharf, on February 9, 1996.

The bomb brought to an end the 18-month IRA ceasefire by killing Inam Bashir, 29, and John Jeffries, 31 and injuring 39 other bystanders.

The service was organised by survivor Jonathan Ganesh, 38, from Limehouse. He worked as a bank security guard at the time of the blast, and was pulled from the wreckage.

“This ceremony means the world to me because my friends were killed fifteen years ago and I could have died as well,”  he said.

“I am sure that if it would have been me, they would have done the same for me, it is very important we don’t forget them.

Twelve doves were released as symbol of peace and goodwill as the crowd paid tribute to those who were lost when the explosives hidden in the lorry parked at South Quay were detonated.

“We hope that wherever the doves travel they will spread peace and hope to man kind. Bombs don’t discriminate anybody, any religion, any colour, man, female, children” said Mr Ganesh.

Ishan Bashir spoke of losing his brother Inam in the attack: “After 15 years of tragedy we are still suffering. We were promised compensation back in 2006, but haven’t received it. The government are all nice on the day, but afterwards they forget you.“

Mayor Lutfur Rahman attended the ceremony and said: “I still remember the day very clearly. Seeing the images of destructions was a very real thing for me because the borough that I have lived all my life was under attack.

“I look forward to a better day where there are no terrorist attacks in the world, where human beings can coexist peacefully side by side to each other.”

Other speakers included the Met Police borough commander Paul Rickett, William Frazer – the director of  the Irish organisation, Families Acting for Innocent Relatives – faith leaders and members of the community.

James McArdle, who planted the Docklands bomb, was freed in 1998 as part of the Good Friday Agreement.

Video: AiKaterina Kalou

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