Hundreds have gathered at the scene of the IRA bomb at Enniskillen’s war memorial which claimed 12 lives, exactly 30 years to the day.
Families and friends of those bereaved in the 1987 Poppy Day attack were joined at the solemn event by survivors and those who assisted in the rescue effort. Also present at the Cenotaph was the Secretary of State, James Brokenshire; PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton; DUP leader Arlene Foster and the UUP’s Robin Swann along with other local politicians including representatives from the Alliance, SDLP and TUV.
Many family members participated in the poignant occasion including Jessica Murray, the great-granddaughter of victims Wesley and Bertha Armstrong who performed a solo. An original poem written by Anna Dixon, a victim of the bomb along with her husband Jim, was recited by Sharon Harrington Gault and an original pipe lament, The Erne Lament composed by James Stout was performed.
After a two-minute silence, the names of the dead were read out and 12 bells tolled.
Surrounded by relatives of those who died, a new memorial to the victims was unveiled by Viscount Brookeborough who also read out a personal message sent by Queen Elizabeth.
She said the memorial was a “poignant reminder of a terrible event” adding: “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 and 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 unveiling was followed by another Service of Remembrance in Enniskillen Presbyterian Church.