Belfast Telegraph

Bombing tribute 'must go on show'

A memorial to the victims of the Poppy Day bombing in Enniskillen must be reinstated before the next anniversary of the IRA atrocity, a son of one of victims has demanded.

Stephen Gault, who lost his father Samuel in the November 1987 Remembrance Day attack, said it is unacceptable that the photographic tribute is still not back on the wall of the Co Fermanagh town's fire station three months after a government watchdog ruled that it was wrongly removed.

Mr Gault, 40, his wife Sharon and local Democratic Unionist Assembly member Arlene Foster met senior managers at the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) to raise their concerns that the montage of the 11 victims had not been put back.

"They have done nothing in three months. They may be trying to palm us off but they won't palm me off," he said.

"The ball's in their court now. We are coming up on the anniversary again and this needs to be sorted."

The tribute was controversially taken down only days before the 20th anniversary of the atrocity in 2007.

In May this year the decision by the NIFRS, taken after an anonymous complaint about the picture from a member of staff, was found to be "ill considered" by Northern Ireland ombudsman Tom Frawley.

While fire chiefs have since apologised to Mr Gault for the pain the incident caused him, the montage still lies in a closed drawer in the station.

An internet petition Mr Gault launched on social networking site Facebook has gained more than 5,500 members in the past six weeks.

A NIFRS spokeswoman said: "The new acting chief fire officer welcomed the opportunity to discuss this very sensitive and very serious matter personally with Mr Gault and Mrs Foster and has assured them that this will be taken forward by the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service Board."


From Belfast Telegraph