Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Enniskillen survivor: I pay a big price for being alive

IRA victim Jim Dixon (72) — the most seriously injured person to survive the Enniskillen bomb — has said compensation won’t bring justice, but it might help many of those who suffered at the hands of republican terrorists.

“The Libyan government supplied the Semtex and therefore it has a responsibility to compensate victims,” said Mr Dixon (right).

“Money won’t bring justice, but it will be an acknowledgement of what they have gone through. The women who were left without husbands, the young people who lost both their parents...

“It’s not about compensation. I’m not looking for the money as a personal thing. The money would be helpful for a lot of victims. At least they would see something has been done for them.”

The Enniskillen bomb exploded on November 8, 1987, during a Remembrance Day service in the Co Fermanagh town.

Eleven people were killed and over 60 were injured after it blew out one of the building's walls, showering the area with debris and burying some people in several feet of rubble.

Mr Dixon, a businessman, was just 10 feet away from the bomb when it went off.

“I suffer horrendously every day, life is a living hell for me,” he said.

“My skull was fractured in a number of areas. My eyes were sitting down on my cheeks when the doctors found me. They had to put my eyes back into place.

“My mouth was blown out. My jaw was missing on the right hand said. I was split open nine inches from my chin to my ear. My face and tongue were paralysed. I had nine broken ribs. My pelvis, two hips and one leg were smashed.

“Three surgeons told me I wouldn’t live. It’s a miracle I survived.

“The time I spent in hospital was horrendous. I was in intensive care for a very long time.”

The father-of-three’s wife Anna was also caught up in the bomb that dreadful day, although she escaped unhurt.

“The buttons were blown off her coat and her shoes were blown off her feet and she was blackened all over,” he said.

“It was nothing too serious, but the trauma was bad enough.”

For Mr Dixon, the devastation will continue for some time to come.

“I remember that during the time I was in hospital I was too weak to breathe,” he said.

“Every night was like a year. I couldn’t get away from the terror of the bomb. I used to put a pillow across my face at night and hold it there. I couldn’t escape the bombs coming at me all the time. It was like being cursed by a sinister evil force. Bombs are awful things. I pay a big price for being alive.”

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