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Son requests inquiry into IRA attack

THE son of a woman killed in the devastating IRA bomb attack in Aldershot 30 years ago has written to Tony Blair asking for an inquiry into the outrage.

Karl Bosley's world was turned upside down on February 22, 1972, the day the IRA planted a 50lb bomb in a stolen car outside the officers' mess of 16th Parachute Brigade, killing seven civilians in revenge for the Bloody Sunday tragedy.

Among the victims was his mum Thelma, one of five women workers who died that day along with a gardener and a Catholic priest.

The Aldershot tragedy shattered young Karl's life.

The multi-million pound inquiry into Bloody Sunday has only served to underline to the Aldershot victims that they are the forgotten people.

Fourteen-year-old schoolboy Karl was in class when the windows were blown out by the blast two miles away.

It was only later, when Karl went to meet his mum at work, that he realised she was one of the seven victims.

A mass of rubble littered the site, and the horror of events that day have blighted his life ever since.

His parents were divorced and Karl was sent to live with his father Robert, but he left home shortly afterwards.

By the end of 1972 Karl was in a detention centre for an attack on a soldier and he received another custodial sentence two years later when he was in a gang that petrol-bombed an Irish bar in Brixton.

He joined the Paras in 1983, determined to wreak revenge on Irish people, but his request for a Northern Ireland posting was refused and he left the services after injuring his back in a parachute accident.

Karl, though, had still not exorcised his demons. In desperation he threatened to blow himself up in 1997, holding a grenade in each hand, but the police talked him out of it.

Now he is at last beginning to turn his life around, though he will never fully recover from what happened that day.

The sum of £1,500, offered to him by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board in 1995 for the loss of his mother, had only increased the hurt.

Karl said: "I told them where they could stick their £1,500. Is that all they considered my mother's life was worth, when you consider that the barristers in Londonderry now are being paid £1,900 a day?

"It wasn't the money. I lost everything. I lost my mother, my home. It ruined my education and ruined my life.

"I went off the rails and I got into a lot of trouble. It still affects me now, but I deal with it a lot better."

Karl, who now lives in Streatham, south London, is not opposed to the Bloody Sunday inquiry, but he is angry that Aldershot never gets a mention.

Karl is convinced that Aldershot has been deliberately passed over.

"You hear about Birmingham and you hear about Guildford, but nobody ever remembers Aldershot.

"We are the forgotten people. I think it's because they were so embarrassed at how lax security was."

Karl wrote to Mr Blair last week, asking for an inquiry into the Aldershot bombing and what he said was a lack of security in the town.

Downing Street confirmed Karl's letter had been received and a reply had been sent.

He said: "I want people to know about Aldershot and how badly people have been affected by it."

Ironically it was Karl's marriage to Patricia, a Catholic from Northern Ireland, which finally did so much to ease the pain. They have two children, Karla, 15, and Max, 10.

He said: "It was only when I met Patricia's parents that I realised she was Irish.

"I have met victims from both sides and you understand that we're really all the same."


Charlotte Neal
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Joshua Smith
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet & Yateley Reporter
Ros Collins
Junior News & Mail
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