Northern Ireland

Remembering the Enniskillen dead

The cenotaph in Enniskillen is a memorial to the Inniskilling regiments and the servicemen and women from County Fermanagh who died in two world wars.

Twenty-five years ago thousands had gathered there when, without warning, at 10.43 GMT, a bomb exploded inside a nearby building.

The gable wall collapsed burying bystanders beneath the rubble.

Those who died that day are now remembered there too.

Their names have been added to the cenotaph along with 11 bronze doves.

A panel reads: "In remembrance of eleven of our neighbours who were killed by a terrorist bomb at this site on Remembrance Sunday 8 November 1987.

"Edward Armstrong, Wesley and Bertha Armstrong, Samuel Gault, Kitchener and Jessie Johnston, William and Agnes Mullan, Johnny Megaw, Albertha Quinton, and Marie Wilson."

A 12th victim, headteacher Ronnie Hill, died after 13 years in a coma.

Many will associate the Poppy Day Bomb with the interview broadcast with Gordon Wilson who recalled his daughter's last words: "Daddy, I love you very much."

"She was a great wee lassie. She was a pet, and she's dead. But I bear no ill-will, I bear no grudge," he said.

Those words helped bring the community together - a process of reconciliation that continued this year with the Queen's visit to Enniskillen and her symbolic walk across the road from the Church of Ireland Cathedral to St Michael's Catholic Church.

The Queen also met privately with relatives and survivors of the Enniskillen bomb, but while there has been reconciliation there has not been justice.

No one has ever been convicted of carrying out this atrocity.

News that the Historical Enquiries Team has discovered potential new evidence has given some hope that one day there will be justice.

Some victims of the Enniskillen bomb feel the peace process has left them behind while convicted terrorists have been released from prison.

For them, the last 25 years have been a lifetime of suffering, but the memories are as vivid as if it had happened yesterday.

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