Belfast Telegraph

Families upset after Catholic Church blocks Enniskillen Poppy Day bomb memorial

By Mairead Holland

The decision by a Catholic diocese to reject plans for an Enniskillen Poppy Day bomb memorial on its property has been met with dismay by victims' families.

Aileen Quinton, whose mother Alberta (72) died in the IRA attack in 1987, said she was not surprised.

"Victims and their well-being are at the very bottom of the pile yet again," she added.

Stephen Gault, whose father Samuel was killed, said: "Hurt does not scrape the surface of how we are feeling.

"Why can't we have a simple, innocent memorial to remember our loved ones murdered by terrorists 30 years ago?"

Mr Gault said the families planned to meet as a group next week to discuss their next move.

St Michael's Diocesan Trust announced yesterday that it had turned down the proposal for the memorial on its land.

The trust said that while it was "deeply conscious of the horrific effects and legacy" of the bombing, and had no objection to a permanent memorial, the size and scale of it posed insurmountable problems for access.

Monsignor Peter O'Reilly, parish priest of Enniskillen, also said the move was not about rejecting any memorial or its content, but this particular memorial and its proposed location.

The site is beside the Clinton Centre, which is due to be redeveloped to include an alternative memorial.

The monument at the heart of the impasse had originally been unveiled last November at an event marking 30 years since the atrocity.

But it was removed and put into storage after the diocese said it had not been consulted over its placement.

Eleven people were killed and more than 60 injured when the bomb exploded at the Remembrance Day service.

A 12th victim died after 13 years in a coma.

The trust added: "We are happy that the redeveloped Clinton Centre will include a memorial to the victims of the Enniskillen bombing, and the trust hopes that a suitable location for the Ely Centre memorial will be found."

It said it was sensitive to legacy issues surrounding the bombing, and had given careful consideration to key questions such as public access, obligations to its tenants, the ongoing upkeep, security and sustainability of the memorial and potential future public works in the area.

Ulster Unionist MLA Rosemary Barton said she was willing to meet with the trust to discuss the matter.

Belfast Telegraph

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