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Play telling story of mother bereaved in Shankill bomb staged at Féile

Nine people, including two children, died in the no-warning attack at Frizzell’s fish shop in west Belfast on 23 October, 1993. Credit: Pacemaker

A woman whose daughter was killed in the Shankill bombing says she will attend the play telling her story which is being staged as part of a west Belfast festival.

Actress Collette Hart captures the intense pain of a mother whose daughter's life was cruelly snuffed out in the atrocity.

That mum is Gina Murray, whose 13-year-old girl Leanne died that day in August 1993.

She was one of nine people killed when an IRA bomb blew the heart of the community apart.

Leanne Murray, who was killed aged 13 in the Shankill bombing.

She and her son Gary's story is now captured in the play ‘What If’, written and directed by acclaimed Irish playwright Patricia Downey.

On Thursday night it will be shown as one of the opening events at Féile an Phobail which is now in its 30th year.

Ms Murray has seen a performance of the play previously and says it’s “very heartbreaking”.

“I ended up in tears but they were good tears because of what she’d put across,” she told UTV.

“She got my emotions down exactly, my thoughts, she had everything.”

She says she will be taking her granddaughter to see the play at St Mary’s University on the Falls Road. It has been produced by The Spanner in the Works Theatre Company and developed in partnership with Kilcooley Women’s Centre.

Collette Hart who plays Gina Murray during rehearsals for 'What If'. Credit: UTV

I didn’t know what reaction I would get from it going to the Féile but at the minute we are getting good feedback.

– Gina Murray

The event came about after Alan McBride, who's wife Sharon, was killed in the bomb, initiated a conversation with Féile organiser Kevin Gamble.

“With legacy being such a hot topic at the minute, a play like this puts it in people’s hearts and minds,” he explained.

“There’s no way anyone will come away from the play not feeling emotional from it in terms of what they’ve just heard.

“The story behind the play, it doesn’t matter if it was on the Shankill Road, Falls Road, Newtownards Road or Crossmaglen Road, the story is the same.”

What Ms Murray hopes people will take away from the play is simple.

“I hope that people will remember a mother’s feelings. It’s non-political so it’s a mother’s feelings,” she added.

The play will be staged at The Lyric Theatre in the coming future following Thursday’s production.

WATCH: Gina Murray spoke to Judith Hill ahead of the first performance