Anniversary of IRA member’s death marked in St Albans

St Albans MP hopes for closure after 1991 IRA attack

THE FAMILY of one of two IRA members killed when a bomb they were carrying exploded prematurely in St Albans in 1991 has marked the 20th anniversary of her death by laying a wreath in the city centre on Saturday.

A seven-pound Semtex bomb detonated in the doorway of the old Barclays Bank adjoining the civic centre, now the Northern Rock, on Friday November 15, 1991.

While the intended target was a concert by the Blues and Royals military band at the Alban Arena, which was packed that night, the blast instead killed members of the Provisional IRA, Patricia Black, aged 18, and Frankie Ryan.

The chief executive of St Albans district council, Daniel Goodwin, confirmed that a wreath had been laid “briefly” in St Albans on Saturday, November 19.

A spokeswoman for Herts Police said there were, “no issues for the service during the laying of the wreath.”

Neither organisation would reveal the time or the exact location of the wreath laying.

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MP for St Albans Anne Main said she hoped the service was just a one-off event that would not be repeated.

She added: “I am pleased to see that the wreath laying passed without incident. I am puzzled why this act of remembrance occurred now, but I hope that it will draw a line under the event and provide closure.

“It is a sad fact that at the time these young people saw fit to make an attack on British serving personnel, and this can never be condoned.”