Scots caught up in terror at­tack to re­turn to city

The Herald - - NEWS - JACK MC­GRE­GOR

TWO Scots caught up in the terror at­tack in Manch­ester arena are to re­turn to the city one year on.

Lor­raine Ness, 10, and Leigh Til­ley, 18, were just two of the crowd caught up in the af­ter­math of the terror at­tack on May 22 last year. The at­tack claimed the lives of 23 peo­ple and in­jured more than 800 oth­ers as an Ari­ana Grande con­cert was com­ing to a close.

Although Ms Til­ley has sum­moned the courage to go to con­certs again, she has vowed to her­self to never re­turn to the Manch­ester Arena.

The pho­tog­ra­phy stu­dent had been look­ing for­ward to the gig for months but now strug­gles when­ever she hears an un­usual noise dur­ing a per­for­mance.

She will re­turn to Manch­ester for the first an­niver­sary of the tragic event along with many other sur­vivors.

Ms Til­ley said: “There’s not a day goes by when I don’t think about what hap­pened. It may get eas­ier in time but I will never forget it. Lor­raine said she would never go to a con­cert again but we had tick­ets for other gigs al­ready booked.

“The first one we went to was Mi­randa Sings at Usher Hall in Ed­in­burgh in Septem­ber. Any time there is a noise, though, you jump but we have been able to en­joy the con­certs too and Lor­raine has been the hap­pi­est I’ve seen.

“How­ever, I would never be able to go back to the Manch­ester Arena again.”

When the bomb went off the pair were still in the build­ing. Panic en­sued as they tried to find their par­ents out­side.

Moth­ers Nicola Fitz­patrick and Alyson Smith say they’ve been emo­tion­ally af­fected like many other par­ents who were wait­ing out­side on that night.

Ms Smith, 39, from Dun­fermline, Fife, said: “I wasn’t sure about them go­ing to an­other con­cert, but you’ve got to let them live their lives.

“We said to them, right phone us when you get in­side, tell us you’re okay, keep hold of each other’s hands, make sure your phone’s charged, ring us as soon as it’s fin­ished.”

The two girls and their moth­ers are set to go to Manch­ester to mark the one-year an­niver­sary next Tues­day.

Ms Fitz­patrick said: “We think that it’s im­por­tant that we come to­gether with every­body on the day.”

She added: “We’ve not spo­ken to any­one who has gone through the same thing as us and I think it will bring us some clo­sure.”

„ Nicola Fitz­patrick with her daugh­ter Leigh Til­ley.

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