Scots caught up in terror attack to return to city
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.