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Plan for memorial to 1987 Poppy Day bomb victims in time for 30th anniversary

By Rebecca Black

One of the worst atrocities of the Troubles is to be commemorated with a permanent memorial.

The Remembrance Day bombing at Enniskillen cenotaph on November 8, 1987 sparked outrage across the world with its scenes of carnage.

Eleven people were killed and 63 injured when the IRA detonated a bomb during the Poppy Day parade.

A 12th victim of the massacre, school principal Ronnie Hill, died in 2000, having spent 13 years in a coma.

The names of the victims are included on Enniskillen cenotaph, although there is no specific memorial.

Now Co Fermanagh-based victims' charity the Ely Centre has set up the Enniskillen Memorial Project, and hopes to erect a tribute at the site of the atrocity in time to mark the 30th anniversary of the outrage this November.

The proposal to create the memorial at the side of the Clinton Centre on Belmore Street in the town is being backed by DUP leader and former First Minister Arlene Foster, who is a native of Co Fermanagh.

She said it was "encouraging to hear the positive work being done by the Ely Centre victims group" and welcomed its plans for the Enniskillen Bomb Memorial.

A fundraising effort has been launched in support of the project.

Stephen Gault, who lost his father Samuel in the blast, said he and others "live in hope we get our memorial up in time for the 30th anniversary in November".

The proposal still has to be brought before Fermanagh and Omagh District Council for planning permission. Mr Gault told The Impartial Reporter newspaper: "I am happy with the proposed design if it goes through planning.

"We don't have a permanent memorial to those who were sacrificed. Yes, we have the names on the cenotaph, I know, but the war memorial is for war dead, and that fits into the republican narrative that the people of Enniskillen died in war, which wasn't the case - it was a terrorist campaign."

Jim Dixon, who was seriously injured in the bombing, said he felt "something has to be done" to remember the dead.

"People have to be reminded of what the people of Enniskillen went through, it would be a reminder of the horrific acts carried out by the IRA," he said.

Donations to the project can be made by contacting the Ely Centre.

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