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Enniskillen tribute ‘should not have been removed’

Published 01/06/2010

The Fire Service should not have removed a tribute to those killed in the 1987 Enniskillen bombing, the Ombudsman has found.

A picture montage of those who died in the IRA atrocity was taken down in the town's fire station after an anonymous complaint in September 2007.

Ombudsman Tom Frawley found no officers at the station were consulted and the action was ill-considered.

He said the decision-making process was “attended by maladministration”.

DUP Assembly Member Arlene Foster, who helped a constituent to file an official complaint with the Ombudsman, said the tribute should never have been taken down.

“I have no doubt that the picture should be restored to its rightful place in Enniskillen fire station and a fulsome apology should be issued by the NIFRS (Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service) for the gross offence that has been caused by their behaviour over this matter,” she said.

The Ombudsman began his investigation following a complaint from a member of the public in February 2008.

In his report he said: “I do not believe that an uncorroborated complaint alone from an anonymous caller was sufficient to warrant the literally immediate removal of a montage which had been on the wall for 19 years.” NIFRS said it would respond to the report today.

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