The first IRA attack on Warrington

Friday, February 26, 1993

- Police constable Mark Toker stop-checked three men in a white Mazda van in Sankey Street shortly after midnight. The 25-year-old was shot three times in the leg and back.

- The married father-of-one from Wigan was rushed to Warrington Hospital for emergency treatment and a police dragnet was launched.

- The gang commandeered a white Ford Escort and imprisoned driver Lee Wright in the boot around 12.50am. They set off for Manchester, the gunman firing at pursuing police cars.

- Mr Wright attempted to immobilise his own car, pulling a petrol gauge indicator wire. The gang pulled up on the M62 around 1.50am, perhaps believing they were out of petrol.

- The men fled up an embankment. A police dog cornered the gunman and another man was arrested but the third man escaped.

- Three devices exploded at the Winwick Road gasworks at 4.10am, destroying a gasometer, which caused a 1,000ft high fireball.

- The bombs failed to destroy five million cubic feet of gas in surrounding tanks and a major disaster was averted.

- Nearby residents were evacuated and took shelter at St Ann’s Primary School.

- Pairic MacFhloinn, aged 40, and Denis Kinsella, aged 25, were later jailed for 35 years and 25 years respectively for their part in the bombing mission and John Kinsella, aged 49, was sentenced to 20 years for possessing Semtex explosives that he hid for the IRA cell.

- The third man in the car, Michael Timmins, was never caught.