Belfast Telegraph

Agreement reached on site for memorial to Enniskillen victims

The unveiling last year of the memorial for victims of the Enniskillen bomb
The unveiling last year of the memorial for victims of the Enniskillen bomb
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

A son of one of those killed in the Enniskillen Remembrance Day bomb has said the confirmation over where to site a memorial to the victims is "a huge step forward".

Stephen Gault, whose father Samuel was among the victims of the 1987 atrocity, was speaking following news that a monument will finally be erected in the Co Fermanagh town.

The memorial bearing the names of the 12 victims was controversially removed within hours of being unveiled last November 8 to mark the 30th anniversary of the IRA bombing. It has since been housed in "a temporary secure location" until its permanent home was determined.

The proposal had been to place it at the Clinton Centre on land held by the Catholic Church, St Michael's Diocesan Trust.

The Trust said at the time it had not been consulted by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council on the decision to erect the monument.

In May, the Trust said it had removed the memorial based on considerations around public access, maintenance of the monument, and ongoing public works in Enniskillen town centre.

But an agreement has now been reached to place the memorial within the gable wall of the Clinton Centre following a meeting on Tuesday between all parties concerned.

Family members of those killed previously said they felt let down by both Catholic and Protestant church leaders in Enniskillen after their proposed memorial was rejected.

Mr Gault (48) said: "While I acknowledge that this is a huge step forward for us, I am cautious that we still have a few hurdles to go before the fitting tribute to our loved ones murdered by terrorists is placed at the Clinton Centre. This has been a very stressful time and hopefully this unjust wrong will finally be righted."

The Dean of Enniskillen Cathedral, the Very Rev Kenneth Hall, said: "Good progress has been made and a solution has been reached by all parties involved to site the memorial within the gable wall of the Clinton Centre, subject to necessary approvals.

"However, we envisage that this work will take time but all parties are committed to work together to complete this matter within a reasonable time scale."

A spokesman for St Michael's Trust added that it had not been in a position to sanction locating the memorial in the original location proposed due to its "scale and footprint".

He added: "We welcome the good progress that has been made and the solution that has been reached by all parties with regard to the siting of the memorial. The events in Enniskillen on Remembrance Sunday in 1987 must be suitably remembered. We look forward to the parties concluding the work regarding outstanding technical matters as soon as possible."

DUP leader Arlene Foster said the agreement "marks a positive step forward".

She added: "I know there has been a great deal of work ongoing in the background to achieve this outcome and I pay tribute to everyone involved for their efforts, especially the leadership of Dean Kenneth Hall."

Ulster Unionist MLA Rosemary Barton said it would have been preferable to have this matter resolved for last year's 30th anniversary.

"I trust now that agreement has been reached, there will be no further impediments or unnecessary difficulties put in the way of this development. After so much turmoil the families deserve the opportunity to have this memorial to the victims in place and give them this location that is permanent, and of their choice to remember their loved ones," she said.

It is not yet known if the memorial will be in place before this year's Remembrance Sunday commemorations on November 11.

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