The people of the Shankill are braced to deal with the 20th anniversary of the IRA bomb which devastated it 20 years ago today.
Three of those killed were Evelyn Baird, partner Michael Morrison and their seven-year-old daughter Michelle.
Evelyn’s uncle, Charlie Butler, said his family is feeling “pretty tense and rough” after the major republican commemoration on Sunday for IRA man Thomas Begley, who killed himself in the attack.
“I hold no animosity towards the Begley family,” he said. “We took some comfort from his father saying he would have tied his son to the bed if he had known what he was doing. But when we saw him hugging the other bomber Sean Kelly on television it hurt us bad.
“I know he was their son, but he went out with murder in his heart that day. Our families did not.”
Many Shankill natives shared their feelings at an exhibition of 1993 sympathy cards in Shankill Methodist Church yesterday.
Local Anglican minister the Rev Edith Quirey knew a number of those who died. “After 20 years emotions are still very high and so is the pain,” she said. “People don’t want to go back but I wonder about the younger generation. The bomb tore the heart out of the Shankill. It is important that we are able to move on.”
The attack took place on Drew Johnston’s 43rd birthday. He panicked when he thought his 22-year-old pregnant niece was caught up in it.
“It was total carnage,” he said.
“I ran to find her, but actually she escaped and made her way to my home.”
Myra Pollock said: “It was 20 years ago but it was like yesterday to read the sympathy notes; when you read the notes from the Falls Road too...one of them said ‘We have all got the same God’.”
Her sister normally went to the fish shop every Saturday. Her husband went digging for her in the rubble, but actually she had gone to Ards shopping.
Brian Fleming was about 300 metres away when the bomb went off.
“It is sad, sad,” he said.
“It has all brought back a lot of heartbreak but it is good to see the exhibition up. People you knew were killed. The mood on the whole road right now is sadness.”
Nicola Verner said the exhibition was “a dignified display of remembrance”.
She added: “It has all been done in a very sensitive and sympathetic way.”