Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Coleraine bomb survivor's tears as council agrees to a memorial

Mixed feelings: David Gilmore
Mixed feelings: David Gilmore
Leona O'Neill

By Leona O'Neill

A survivor of an IRA bomb attack in Coleraine that killed six has said the victims of the "forgotten atrocity" will be properly commemorated at last.

An emotional David Gilmore wept as Causeway Coast and Glens Council passed a motion supporting an official remembrance event and permanent memorial.

Last night Mr Gilmore sat in the public gallery, just yards from Sinn Fein councillor Sean McGlinchey, who served 18 years for the atrocity.

Mr Gilmore was 10 on June 12, 1973 when an explosion ripped through Railway Road as he sat in his father's car.

That day the IRA detonated two car bombs in the centre of the town.

The six people who died were all Protestants and over the age of 60. Thirty-three others were injured that day.

Last night Causeway and Glens Council voted to support a commemoration event and permanent memorial to those killed in...

Posted by Leona O'Neill, Journalist on Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Mr Gilmore said last night had been an emotional one for him. "It's a mixture of relief and sadness," he added.

"It's relief that at last those six people are going to be publicly, long-term commemorated for what happened here in 1973.

"It's just a great deal of sadness that Coleraine has to do this."

Mr Gilmore recalled how the bomb car was parked across the road from his father's vehicle.

"It went off just as another car passed between us," he said.

"The one thing I remember is the silence straight after.

"I assume I was deafened with the explosion. Then the screaming came.

"That sound still haunts me, and the sight of the bodies outside the newspaper office. When my father came to us we didn't recognise him.

"He was covered in blood and dust and his clothes had been blown off him.

"The sights I saw that day still haunt me, even now 45 years later."

Mr McGlinchey abstained from the vote.

His party tabled a motion that all victims be remembered, but it was voted down.

"It's very unusual, strange circumstances that I find myself in," he said afterwards.

"I'm sitting there in Causeway Coast and Glens Council and 45 years ago, yes, I was responsible for the loss of innocent lives.

"I took a decision, for victims, 20-odd years ago and I apologised and I admitted my full role for the victims, so that they could move on.

"Again, as an 18-year-old IRA volunteer, my intentions, or nobody's intentions at that time, were to kill innocent people.

"But again, I have to accept that responsibility, and I always have done.

"I just feel that the DUP are being selective with their victims."

Belfast Telegraph


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