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'Dad took his last breath with a boulder across his chest'

Published 19/05/2016

Stella Robinson
Stella Robinson
Wesley and Bertha Armstrong were killed in the IRA Remembrance Day bombing in Enniskillen
Wesley and Bertha Armstrong's daughters at the couple’s funeral

Stella Robinson's parents, Bertha and Wesley Armstrong were killed in the November 1987 Enniskillen bombing.

Eleven people died in the no-warning IRA blast at the town's cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.

Stella's younger brother, 16-year-old Julian, was with his parents at the service.

When a friend told Stella about the explosion, she rushed to the hospital.

"When I arrived at the hospital I'll never forget the sea of faces," she said. "I found Julian, and he was in total shock.

"I asked him: 'Where's mum and dad?' And he said: 'Mum's definitely dead'. He said she couldn't survive the way he saw her. He said Dad had taken his last breath as he had a boulder across his chest.

"But I just kept looking and asking everybody I saw if they knew anything. I loved them very much.

"I loved my father too, but there was a deeper love that I had with my mother. We were very close. You could tell her anything.

"She loved knitting and knitted lovely jumpers and cardigans for us all. She loved baking - apple tarts, lemon meringue pies, ginger squares and caraway seed cakes.

"She loved the country farm life, and she was fond of animals, particularly hens.

"I remember her taking me on the back of a bicycle to primary school. She was always hugging us. It had to be a tight hug. She was a fun mum. I can still see her smile.

"My father loved drives. He loved Rossnowlagh, Bundoran, and all those places.

"He was very much into the church and sang in the choir. When I'm in church, I can see my father sitting there singing... just happy.

"He loved wearing his suit. He never thought he was dressed unless he wore a shirt and tie.

"People say grief is the price of love. It's vivid in my mind. I can still see them, everything about them."

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