Enniskillen IRA bomb memorial unveiled to victims' families 30 years to the day after 1987 atrocity

Enniskillen IRA bomb memorial unveiled to victims' families 30 years to the day after 1987 atrocity

A MEMORIAL to 12 people killed by the IRA’s bombing of Enniskillen 30 years ago has been unveiled in a ceremony attended by relatives of the victims.

The bomb exploded next to the Co. Fermanagh town’s cenotaph during a Remembrance Day ceremony on November 8, 1987.

Eleven people were killed in the blast, while a 12th victim died in December 2000 after 13 years in a coma caused by injuries sustained in the explosion.

Family members of those killed were in attendance at the unveiling on Wednesday morning, along with DUP leader Arlene Foster, NI Secretary James Brokenshire and Chief Constable of the PSNI, George Hamilton.

The Queen also paid tribute with a written message to those gathered, saying: "I am aware of the irreplaceable loss and profound sadness shared by so many families who lost their loved ones and of all those who were injured.

"I renew my sympathy with you all on this occasion.

“Whilst this memorial will serve your community as a permanent reminder of that tragic day, it is my hope that by it the families who have suffered will be strengthened in the knowledge that those who lost their lives and the injured are never forgotten.”

The service was led by Reverend David Cupples, who told the crowd that the bombing “changed the lives of everyone who was here that day and who are here today.”

He added that the 12 victims were “slain by the hands of wicked man.”

Following the ceremony Stephen Ross, who was seriously injured in the blast, said he felt no bitterness or anger towards those responsible – who have never been prosecuted.

"I hold no grudges and I am able to ask God to forgive. I have no sense of bitterness. It only eats you up and consumes you,” said Mr Ross.

“Being angry and being focused on that anger does nobody any good.

"It is a miracle I am still alive today. It is painful looking back but you get to stand with other people who have walked through difficult times, who have had to walk through their injuries and loss.”

He added: "It is difficult standing on the site.

“You still remember everything that happened on the day. I don't think anyone will be able to erase those memories."

Friends and family of the victims were later invited to a remembrance service in Enniskillen Presbyterian Church on Wednesday afternoon.