Eamonn Holmes, 60, was working for GMTV 25 years ago when he faced the difficulty of having to report on the death of young school children during the Dunblane massacre. It was on this exact day, a quarter of a century ago, Thomas Hamilton walked into Dunblane Primary School and shot at 29 primary age students who were in the gym at the time.
16 of the children died, as did their teacher Gwen Mayor, in a sickening attack that is remembered to this day.
Recalling the atrocity of the attacks all these years later, Eamonn wrote in The Mirror: “My eldest boy turned 32 this week. My daughter will be 30 in June.
“As I wrote my lad’s birthday card I was all too aware there are 32 parents from Dunblane in Scotland, who had children of the same ages but won’t get to celebrate them reaching the landmarks.
“A twisted, disturbed man called Thomas Hamilton saw to that.”
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Eamonn has three children with his first wife Gabrielle Holmes – Declan, Rebecca and Niall.
The couple separated in 1995, and Eamonn began dating Ruth Langsford.
In 2002, Ruth gave birth to their son, Jack Alexander Holmes.
Explaining the background of Hamilton, Eamonn continued: “A man who grew up without a father and believing his mother was his sister.
He described being particularly shocked by the massacre because it had the “hallmarks” of “American-style shootings”.
Knowing how important this news would be on an international scale, Eamonn dashed to Dunblane to report on the events, and when he arrived in the town the TV star faced sadness on a scale he had “never experienced”.
Still to this day, Eamonn questions Hamilton’s motives for taking the lives of so many innocent children.
He continued: “I often asked myself was Hamilton’s anger directed at the children for what he didn’t have or was it directed at the adults, the parents who had given them the life, love and affection he didn’t have?”
After shooting the children, Hamilton turned the gun on himself, which angered the This Morning star as he believed it to be a “coward’s way out”.
As night began to fall on Dunblane, Eamonn found himself summoned to the church hall where he was shown pictures of the young victims.
He described the photos as being “class group shots” and seeing the children’s smiling faces made him become overwhelmed with emotion.
Eamonn shared: “If any of those parents loved their children the same as I loved mine, how could they ever get on with their lives again? I couldn’t hold back tears.”