Belfast Telegraph

Son of Enniskillen bomb victim fears divisions within community

The son of a man killed in the Enniskillen bombing has said he fears community relations between Protestants and Catholics could be damaged in the town amid an ongoing row over the placement of a memorial for the atrocity.

On the 30th anniversary of the bomb on Wednesday, a temporary memorial was unveiled to the 12 victims.

Bereaved families say they have attempted to have it erected permanently at the site of the blast but that the local Catholic diocese owns the land and it has not yet given them permission.

The St Michael's Diocesan Trust, part of the Diocese of Clogher, has said it has not yet made a decision regarding the victims' families request and it was only informed of their intentions in late September.

Stephen Gault, whose father Samuel was killed in the 1987 IRA attack, said: "Yesterday (the 30th anniversary) was a traumatic enough day without all this happening.

"I had to see on television footage of a memorial with my father's name on it taken off by a forklift, words can't describe it.

"People can't get their heads round it, even Catholics here have been saying to me that they're disgusted.

"For a town that has already suffered so much, the two communities have never become divided.

"But truthfully, I don't know what the future will bring, will this divide the two communities here now?"

In a statement, a spokesperson for the diocese said: "We are all sensitive to the memories and grief being experienced during these days by the families and relatives of those who died and were injured in the Enniskillen Remembrance Sunday bomb of 1987.

"All of us recognise the place of remembrance in life and the importance of how memorials can help us to come to terms with personal pain and loss.

"It is important to note that St Michael's Diocesan Trust received initial documentation from the Ely Centre (victims' group behind the memorial plan) in late September 2017.

"The Trust wishes to place on record that, as owner of the property concerned, it was not consulted by the council in relation to the granting of planning permission.

"Nonetheless, the Trust is in the process of giving due and careful consideration to all aspects of the request and has yet to come to any decision."

The attack took place on Remembrance Sunday in 1987, when the IRA bomb exploded at a Poppy Day remembrance service in the town.

Twelve people were killed and scores more were injured.

A 13th person was killed the following day, when loyalist paramilitaries killed a man in Belfast in retaliation for the bombing.

No-one has ever been held to account for the attack.


From Belfast Telegraph