Church services held to remember Dunblane dead

Monsignor Basil OSullivan lights a a candle in front of a stained-glass memorial window in Holy Family Church, Dunblane. Picture: Hemedia
Monsignor Basil OSullivan lights a a candle in front of a stained-glass memorial window in Holy Family Church, Dunblane. Picture: Hemedia
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VICTIMS of the Dunblane school shooting were yesterday remembered in church services in the town, 20 years after the attack.

And mourners left dozens of bouquets of flowers at the gates of Dunblane Primary School which saw 16 children murdered.

Teacher Gwen Mayor and many of her pupils were killed when Thomas Hamilton opened fire on them on 13 March 1996.

Rev Colin Renwick, who led tributes at Dunblane Cathedral, said there had not been a day since when those lost had not been remembered.

Chief Inspector Paul Rollo said people would also “celebrate the vibrant community which had overcome” the tragedy.

The killings in the town shocked the nation and led to the UK enforcing some of the strictest firearms legislation in the world.

A minute’s silence was observed at Murrayfield yesterday before the Scotland v France match.

Speaking before yesterday’s church services, Stirling Local Area Commander, Chief Inspector Paul Rollo, said: “This terrible incident cast a shadow on the town and on Sunday we will join together in remembrance and to celebrate the vibrant community which has overcome such tragedy.

“Our local officers are embedded in the community and as always will offer support to the people of Dunblane this weekend.”

East of Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Kate Thomson added: “Much has changed in 20 years, but the shock and sadness is still felt by people throughout Scotland and further afield, including police officers who served in Central Scotland Police and elsewhere at the time, and those who have joined the service since. We wish to extend our sympathies to the families and friends of those who died and those involved in the tragic events of 1996 in Dunblane, at this time of remembrance.”

Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “#Dunblane – in our thoughts and in our hearts, today and always.”

Mick North, whose five-year-old daughter Sophie was killed, said: “In many respects, the day of the forthcoming anniversary won’t be ­especially different. The importance is as an occasion when others can recall and reflect on a horrific event, and also a time when those too young to remember might learn about what happened.”