13 4 mins 9 yrs


25 years ago, I was a few weeks away from getting married.  I have very happy memories of late 1987, but tragically, for others, this time brings pain.

A memorial service is to take place to mark the 25th anniversary of the Enniskillen Remembrance Day bomb. Eleven people were killed and more than 60 injured when an IRA bomb exploded in a hall close to the town’s cenotaph on 8 November 1987. Those who died were all Protestant and they included three married couples, a reserve police officer and several pensioners. Ex-headmaster Ronnie Hill died 13 years after being injured in the attack. The youngest victim was 20-year-old nurse Marie Wilson whose father, Gordon Wilson, subsequently gave a moving interview in which he said he had prayed for those behind the attack. A minute’s silence will be held at 10:43 GMT to mark the moment when the bomb went off without warning 25 years ago. Relatives of those who died will lay wreaths at the cenotaph.

I am acutely conscious that a regular reader of ATW is Aileen Quinton, who lost her mother that day. There are no words I can say that adequately express my sympathy for Aileen, and all the others who lost loved ones to the SAVAGERY of the IRA scum that planted the bomb at a Cenotaph of all places. Time is a great healer, they say, and I hope the decades between then and now have eased the loss.

Meanwhile, a new file on the Enniskillen bombing is to be handed over to police. The report from the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) will be examined by serious crime branch detectives who will determine whether any fresh criminal proceedings can be taken against the perpetrators of the IRA atrocity 25 years ago.

Not one of those who IRA “volunteers” who planned this, who carried it out and who had knowledge of it has ever been brought to justice. It seems that the Republican “community” prefers to keep silent about those murderers living amongst it and rather than give them up they kept them free. I would like to know why the PSNI has not asked some rather obvious questions such as WHO were the IRA leaders at that time and what did they know about this atrocity? If one heads up a terrorist cabal that carries out such sheer unbelievable BARBARISM, surely you are as culpable as the utter vermin that carried it out? It seems not.

The Cenotaph in Enniskillen is a poignant place, a place of quiet dignity. I was past it last year. To my mind, it cries out for JUSTICE but that is the one thing this utterly corrupt “peace process” denies the innocent that suffered so grieviously on that day in 1987.

My sincere best wishes, Aileen, from ALL at ATW. I hope this day brings what comfort it can. 25 years – time flies past ….but loss never disappears.

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13 thoughts on “LEST WE FORGET

  1. Yes, 25 years is a long time but not when you have, like Aileen, lost a dear one to such mindless brutality.

    Let us hope that the perpetrators of this atrocity can be brought to book at last.

  2. Surely it is also a comment upon the blind stupidity of those who continue to support the alleged ‘peace process’ when there is, in many quarters, a total absence of either ‘peace’ or indeed any ‘process’ worth discussing.

  3. Of course Machinegun McGuinness had ‘left’ the IRA by 1987? The truth, however, is rather different. He did go to Enniskillen, in the days after the bombing. Not to visit the families of the victims however, but to speak to the local IRA chiefs, in his role as a member of Sinn Fein, according to him. Perhaps, he could now make a return visit, in his capacity as the British Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland and take with him his friend Matt Baggott and a senior detective and speak to the same people [if they’re still around] or if that can’t be arranged, he could give the names to Matt of those he spoke to 25 years ago, about their role in the murder of 11 people, plus 60+ injured and another dying, having never regained conciousness, twelve years later.

  4. Well said; the IRA’s bombing campaign was from the start inexcusable and unforgiveable – they knew their bombs were leading to countless innocent dead yet they continued with them.
    Enniskillen, Claudy, La Mon …. apart from the barbarity of these mass killings, each one led to a hardening of hearts and another generation maimed by the conflict.

    Let’s hope at least that everyone is glad this carnage has now stopped.

  5. I won’t mix the political with the memorial. It was a terrible crime and the families deserve our sympathy.

  6. Ditto what others have said. Unspeakable atrocity; thoughts are with Aileen and the other families.

  7. I think victims and their families have the ability to strip through some of the political foliage which begins to grow around these tragedies. For me the most powerful contribution from Enniskillen (and probably from our recent past) came from the late Gordon Wilson, when in an interview with the BBC, Wilson described with anguish his last conversation with his daughter and his feelings toward her killers:

    “She held my hand tightly, and gripped me as hard as she could. She said, ‘Daddy, I love you very much.’ Those were her exact words to me, and those were the last words I ever heard her say.”

    To the astonishment of listeners, Wilson went on to add, “But I bear no ill will. I bear no grudge. Dirty sort of talk is not going to bring her back to life. She was a great wee lassie. She loved her profession. She was a pet. She’s dead. She’s in heaven and we shall meet again. I will pray for these men tonight and every night.”

  8. ciarnan –

    I remember that too. I believe it was when she lay dying in the rubble. I’d never been so moved in my life, and recall cursing the IRA to the very depths of hades.

  9. David

    Thanks for this.

    It has been a knot in my stomach for about six months now but even so I totally underestimated how emotional it was going to be. I have attempted to respond before a few times but was still feeling too wiped out.

    I had three things I wanted from the anniversary activity

    1. That proper respect be paid to her and the others. This was certainly done. The address about the victims having been the salt of the earth and an example of how we should strive to be salt on his earth was very moving and very appropriate. It was all very dignified and very moving.

    2. That. would get catharsis. I sort of camped out at the Ely Centre (victims centre), the week before and listened in to the media interviews. I heard lots of things that I hadn’t known. Apparently three weeks beforehand, the police called at he TA Centre to see if it cokd be used a a makeshift morgue in the event if a major incident in Enniskillen. I also heard the stories of more of the injured.

    3. That Tullyhomman and what was attempted there would not be forgotten. I brought this up at evey chance and have had feedback that it was highlighted.

    So I got my three.

  10. Good to hear from you Aileen. I am pleased the anniversary event difficult though it must have been , seems to have brought you some measure of personal achievement.

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