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Mystery sign appears on Bridge Street next to River of Life memorial plaque
A LAMINATED notice appeared next to the recently restored River of Life memorial plaque on Wednesday morning criticising the people who had taken it.
The plaque on Bridge Street, which remembers victims of the IRA bombings in 1993, was stolen earlier this year but was eventually recovered and returned.
The blue sign was addressed ‘to the scum who stole the plaque from this place’.
It read: “I find solace knowing you never must have had a family who lived with honour and grace.
“And when you pass there will be no tributes, no respects paid and you will not be remembered for you are not of humankind, you are nothing.”
One witness said it ‘summed up’ how people in the town felt about the theft.
The commemorative plaque, a tribute to bomb victims Johnathan Ball and Tim Parry, was recovered in June after an appeal in the Warrington Guardian.
It has now been returned to its home in the town centre.
Clr Terry O’Neill, leader of Warrington Borough council, said: “The River of Life is such an important part of our heritage and we are delighted that the plaque has been returned to us.
“Warrington was shocked when this happened and we believe that the Restorative Justice Conference and the plaque being retuned to Bridge Street is the best outcome for everyone involved.”
Two men who stole the plaque have apologised for the theft to the family of Tim Parry.
A 29-year-old Newton-le-Willows man admitted removing it after drinking in the town centre before dropping it. It was then picked up by a 57-year-old Penketh resident who kept it at his home address.
Clr Mike Hannon, deputy leader, said: “CCTV played a critical role in identifying the two men responsible and a heartfelt thank-you goes to those staff who spent a considerable amount of time studying hours of footage.
“We received an overwhelming number of offers of support and donations from individuals and businesses and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their generosity and kindness.”
Chf Supt Richard Strachan said: “It is really pleasing to see the River of Life plaque back on Bridge Street.
“Those responsible for taking the plaque have been held to account for their actions and are now engaged in work to compensate the community.”