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Everyday hero who helped the injured
9:00am Wednesday 20th March 2013 in News
AN every day hero who performed emergency first aid on bomb-hit Bridge Street in 1993 was among those who gathered to pay tribute on Saturday.
Ron Riley, aged 69, of Montrose Close, Fearnhead, lay with mum-of-two Bronwen Vickers, staunching the flow of blood from an artery severed in the blast.
She was later rushed to hospital to have her leg removed.
Speaking at the memorial, an emotional Mr Riley branded the terrorists responsible as ‘mindless idiots’.
He said: “It didn’t prove anything.
“They came out on a Sunday to injure children with it being Mother’s Day and next to McDonald’s.
“It was sheer mindlessness and they achieved nothing.
“I have got a lot of Irish friends in Warrington and they couldn’t believe it.
“We weren’t at war with them, we were trying to keep the peace.
“Why did they do it?”
The former soldier, who learnt first aid on a course with St John’s Ambulance, says he can remember the IRA attack ‘like it was yesterday’.
He ran out of Golden Square where he worked as a porter to find a mortally wounded Tim Parry.
“That young lad was behind me but I couldn’t do anything for him,” said Mr Riley.
“Then I saw Bronwen.
"I stayed with her until the ambulance came with my hand on her femoral artery.
“We were trying to make a joke of it.
"I said you've saved me a fiver because I'd normally have had three pints in the pub by now.
"She asked me to make her a rolled up cigarette and I said I can't because my hand is on your leg.”
Such was the seriousness of the injury, when paramedics arrived granddad Mr Riley was tied to Mrs Vickers and taken with her to hospital.
She died around a year after the IRA attack.
Mr Riley received a commendation for bravery from Warrington Borough Council and an award from the Samaritan’s Committee in Italy for his ‘great generosity’.
But he suffered a breakdown following the scenes on Bridge Street and said: “You don’t think about it at the time because the adrenaline is going.
“I don’t think about it as much as I used to, but it will never go away.”