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Strabane girl survives Manchester terror attack

Thursday, 25 May 2017

A STRABANE woman and her teenage daughter are today coming to terms with the terror attack in Manchester on Monday night.

The woman, who did not wish to be named, said her daughter had attended the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena with a group of friends when the blast occurred.

Both were reunited and are safe and well despite enduring a terrifying experience at the hands of cold-hearted terrorists.

A Book of Condolence in memory of all those who were tragically killed was opened yesterday (Tuesday) by the mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock. It will be open in the Guildhall in Londonderry and members of the public are invited to show their solidarity with the people of Manchester by recording their tributes over the coming days.

At the time of going to press, police had confirmed that at least 22 people were killed in the explosion. Some of them are children - one an eight-year-old girl.

Officers said a further 59 people were injured amid reports of at least one explosion that hit the venue shortly after the concert finished.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, confirmed the incident was a terrorist attack as she addressed cameras outside Downing Street yesterday. Police and security services believe they have identified the bomber, but no name has yet been announced, she said.

Locals in the area have turned the thought of terror to one of hope and compassion and have already begun reaching out to offer victims support and solidarity in this most difficult time.

Widespread shock has been expressed throughout Tyrone in the wake of the atrocity with politicians across all political spectrums uniting in condemnation.

Among them was West Tyrone SDLP MLA., Daniel McCrossan, who said his "thoughts and prayers are with all in Manchester".

Castlederg Ulster Unionist councillor, Derek Hussey, said he too was horrified by what had happened.

"I write as the father of a 17-year-old daughter and 14-year-son who could very easily have been at this type of event. I ask why would anyone do this knowing, of course, that the perpetrator cannot answer but wondering what will the apologists for such evil have to say!

Many in Northern Ireland can empathise with the victims and survivors of this atrocity and I offer my thoughts and prayers for all as they endure their ongoing trauma," said Mr Hussey.

West Tyrone Sinn Féin MLA., Michaela Boyle, expressed her heartfelt sympathy to the families of all those killed and injured in the attack.

"A city that holds many close connections to this local community not least through family, student and football links. As a mark of respect Sinn Féin has suspended all election related activity for today (Tuesday)," she said.

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