‘It never leaves you and never will’

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Among the families of victims at Sunday’s 30th anniversary memorial service was Sylvia Callaghan whose son Alan, aged just 17, was killed in the bomb.

Still heartbroken at the loss of her teenage son, 83-year-old Sylvia, who lives in Limavady, said the pain from what happened has never eased.

“It never leaves your mind, never,” she said. “Alan was so good natured. He was at the Tech and he was just so helpful.”

While the memorial service is a comfort to Sylvia and her family, she said: “It’s like you’re watching it again.”

Memories of the night of the bomb remain vivid for Sylvia.

“I’ll never forget that night. We walked Ballykelly street that night looking for him. We didn’t know Alan was at it (The Droppin’ Well),” she said. “It broke my heart and my husband, he never got it over it either, but today shows you’re not on your own. That’s nice, but it never leaves you and never will.”

Monica Cooke from Ballykelly, whose sister Patricia, aged 21, was killed from injuries sustained in the bomb also attended the ceremony.

“Today was very emotional, very poignant, sad,” said the 69-year-old. “Thirty years ago they took an awful lot from the people of Ballykelly, but looking at today they gave a lot back.

“When I was walking up with Pat’s wreath I could hear her saying to me ‘why did you do it like that?’, because she was such a perfectionist. I miss her and always will. I remember the good times we had for each other but, what they did for her, I will never forget.”

Monica added: “All these people here today are amazing, although that’s not even enough words.”