Many years ago I left home to move to Manchester to study for a degree, I moved to a city where I knew no-one and had only visited briefly twice before – once for a weekend A-level studies, once for an interview at Manchester Polytechnic.

It took me no time at all to fall in love with the city, and I started my life there, and stayed for over thirty years. Circumstances took me away, but I still visit as often as I can, visiting dear friends, but visiting the dear city too.

I was horrified and saddened by the news late last night, of the cowardly and despicable attack on children and the parents who might have been with them. There are no words really to describe the immorality and depravity of the individual who carried it out – looking round him at those innocent young people as he detonated his weapon – yes, a suicide vest is a weapon.

As a mother my heart goes out to the victims, and those whose lives have been changed forever. A senseless and meaningless act, because it will not achieve whatever its warped ambition was…

Manchester has seen much horror of a similar kind over the years, other ‘events’ have murdered the innocent, but only made the city and its people, old and young, stronger and more united. This pathetic act will have the opposite result of what was intended.

The victims will be remembered and be the heroes.


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