Pandemic hero helping Docklands IRA victims' families is struck by Covid

Wayne Guba, co-founder of Docklands Victims Association

Wayne Guba, co-founder of Docklands Victims Association - Credit: Mike Brooke

A man who has long been fighting for compensation for the victims of the IRA Docklands bombing and also drove an NHS responder ambulance during the pandemic has fallen ill with Covid-19. 

Wayne Gruba has been admitted to Royal London Hospital and is said to be on a ventilator. 

Wayne on ventilator in hospital 

Wayne on ventilator in hospital - Credit: DVA

The 52-year-old campaigner co-founded the Docklands Victims Association (DVA), which took on the government 10 years after the 1996 bombing in Canary Wharf, as part of a long battle for compensation when survivors were still struggling to make ends meet.

He received an OBE in 2019 for his voluntary work helping victims on Millwall’s Barkantine Estate, next to Canary Wharf, who were caught up in the massive explosion. 

Wayne with co-founder Jonathan Ganesh on their IRA victims' campaign before the pandemic

Wayne with co-founder Jonathan Ganesh on their IRA victims' campaign before the pandemic - Credit: Mike Brooke

Wayne, who uses his business offices in Hackney Wick for his campaign while running his own facilities management company, has spoken to his co-founder partner Jonathan Ganesh from his hospital bed this week. 

“He’s done so much for Docklands victims and their families, lobbying the government and organising our annual memorial at Canary Wharf," Jonathan said.

Wayne Gruba in 2016 organising annual memorial at Canary Wharf to 1996 IRA bomb victims

Wayne Gruba in 2016 organising annual memorial at Canary Wharf to 1996 IRA bomb victims - Credit: Mike Brooke


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His campaign organisation was given an ambulance during the first lockdown, which delivered food and medical supplies in response to the initial pandemic.  

“Wayne’s compassion placed him in danger,” Jonathan said. “He used the ambulance collecting patients from hospital.

Jonathan Ganesh (ready to drive) and Wayne Gruba with the NHS responder ambulance

Jonathan Ganesh (ready to drive) and Wayne Gruba with the NHS responder ambulance - Credit: DVA

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"I was shocked to learn that he has caught Covid himself. We are all praying for him.” 

Wayne, who worked at Citi Bank in Canary Wharf at the time of the IRA bombing, set up the association with Jonathan to help families on the Barkantine Estate who were still struggling a decade after the IRA atrocity.  

Wayne at his business office in Hackney Wick where he runs his Docklands campaign

Wayne at his business office in Hackney Wick where he runs his Docklands campaign - Credit: Mike Brooke

The Advertiser reported on his long fight with the government to use the interest from £12 billion assets in London, deposited by Libya’s deposed Colonel Gaddafi who had supplied the IRA with explosives in the 1990s, for the compensation.

He was close to an agreement when the Covid emergency broke and everything went on hold.  

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