President Michael D Higgins has spoken of the sense of grief and sadness felt by the Irish people following the 1993 Warrington bombing carried out by the IRA.

President Higgins is on an official visit to the UK.

He was speaking as he and his wife Sabina paid an official visit to the Peace Centre, which has been set up in the town in the name of Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball, the two children who were killed in the attack.

President Higgins said that many lives had taken a dramatic turn that day in Warrington and he paid tribute to the extraordinary journey of reconciliation and forgiveness which the Parry and Ball families had taken.

Tim Parry's parents, Colin and Wendy, who are founders of the Warrington Peace Centre met the President during his visit.

The parents of Johnathan Ball, Wilf and Marie, have both passed away.

In his speech at the centre President Higgins spoke of the radicalisation of young people as one of the most significant threats in a global society.

He said that to all who are committed to the ideals of freedom, tolerance and peace, it is essential to engage with those who feel excluded and as a result may be drawn towards extremism and radicalisation.

The Peace Centre receives funding from a number of sources including a €70,000 funding stream from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Earlier Mr Parrry spoke of the dark days of March 1993.

He talked of the Peace Centre as a living memorial to Tim and Johnathan and a way of working towards peace and reconciliation.

He spoke of the memorable moments which his family had enjoyed with the Irish people and particularly of the way in which the people of Ireland greeted he and his wife Wendy when they visited Ireland for an appearance on the Late Late Show in 1993.

Mr Parrry said the friendship and guidance of the people of Ireland could never be forgotten by him and his wife.

The President was later awarded an honorary degree by the University of Liverpool, which is home to the Institute for Irish Studies.