Belfast Telegraph

Enniskillen bomb: Families of victims vow they won't stop battle for justice

Grieving relatives say pain of loss still haunts them despite the passing of time

By Mark Edwards and PA

Relatives of the 11 people killed in the Enniskillen bombing have vowed to keep their memories alive and continue fighting for justice as they mark the 30th anniversary of the atrocity.

The IRA bomb exploded without warning ahead of a Remembrance Sunday memorial ceremony on November 8, 1987, in one of the worst attacks of the Troubles.

 

Eleven people lost their lives and scores more were injured on the day. A 12th person died in December 2000 after 13 years in a coma due to injuries sustained in the attack.

The device was planted in a building close to the Cenotaph and when it detonated the walls collapsed on top of those who had gathered to pay respects to the war dead.

No one has ever been brought to justice for the massacre.

Joan Anderson, whose parents William and Agnes Mullan were killed, said: "You have to learn to live with it or else you're another victim, and I refuse to be another victim.

"You heal to a point, but it's inside you and it never leaves. Every day of my life I miss my parents.

"I can say that, after 30 years, you finally get to the point where you can accept that it happened, but you do not forget and I am still angry about it.

"I'm angry that, right across Northern Ireland, good people have been killed and we have been forgotten about." Aileen Quinton, whose mother Alberta was killed, said: "It's so hard to believe that it's been 30 years. There's just an unreality about it.

"At the time it just felt too awful to be true and in many ways it still is.

"I'm no more used to it. It's still awful and it still matters."

Stella Robinson, whose mother and father Bertha and Wesley Armstrong died, said: "I think people born after the Troubles or after 1996 (the year of the IRA ceasefire) are not educated enough about what happened. I think they just want people to move on and they don't want to be reminded.

"But I just don't want this to be forgotten about. They were taken from us and I want people to know.

"I was very close to both my parents and they meant the world to me. I really miss them and I was robbed of 30 years of their life with me."

A memorial unveiling and dedication service organised by the Ely Centre, which has supported the families of the bereaved and injured in their efforts to erect a permanent memorial, will take place in the town today.

The service will commence at 10.30am and will occur on the site of the explosion. Ahead of the anniversary, the PSNI said it remained committed to bringing to justice those responsible for the bombing.

Detective Superintendent Ian Harrison, from the PSNI's Legacy Investigation Branch, said that if investigative options arise, officers will pursue them.

"Since the initial investigation into the bomb attack on the memorial service at Enniskillen in 1987 a number of case reviews and further investigative actions have been undertaken by police," he said.

"Ten persons were arrested and interviewed during the course of the original investigation and subsequently released due to insufficient evidence to support a prosecution.

"In 2016 one person was rearrested and interviewed by detectives from Serious Crime Branch.

"The individual was later released without charge due to insufficient evidence.

"The PSNI remains committed to pursuing investigative options, should they develop in the future. The murders at the Enniskillen Cenotaph remain within the extensive caseload of Legacy Investigation Branch for future review.

"If a new historical investigation unit is established as part of political developments, the case files will pass to that body."

Stephen Gault was standing next to his father when the bomb went off. Samuel was killed and Stephen was left severely injured.

He said: "I have been in Enniskillen in the days leading up to the 30th anniversary and noticed a large amount of police officers carrying out searches around the Cenotaph.

"It hit home then that another anniversary is here, but it made me think that if that type of search was carried out before the bomb then we wouldn't have to deal with this.

"All this hype around the anniversary brings me back to reality and it's very difficult.

"You learn to live with it, but it's still very raw."

Belfast Telegraph

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