IN WHAT is believed to be the first time Sinn Fein has openly condemned the Enniskillen Remembrance Day bombing, the party’s candidate in Friday’s presidential election has described it as an atrocity.
Earlier this year local Sinn Fein councillor and then council chairman Stephen McCann sparked a walkout and no-confidence motion when he refused to condemn the IRA bombing which killed twelve civilians.
The remarks by Sinn Fein candidate Liadh ni Riada have been raising eyebrows given the party’s long-standing position of refusing to condemn IRA actions during the Troubles.
In a TV debate with the other presidential candidates, when asked about the Enniskillen bomb, she told broacaster Pat Kenny: “I think any atrocity like that (Enniskillen bombing) should be condemned, but look, the IRA have been gone the last twenty years, we have a peace process in place, we should be cementing that and working on building that.”
The MEP’s comments were made during a debate where she was asked by Pat Kenny about her ‘ambivalence to violence’.
After branding the Enniskillen bombing an atrocity the presidential candidate the went on to ask Mr Kenny if he would regard former South African leader Nelson Mandela as a terrorist.
The bomb which exploded on Remembrance Sunday at the town’s cenotaph was responsible for killing twelve people and injuring sixty three.
Among those who lost their lives was 49 year old Samuel Gault, father of Stephen Gault, who was also injured in the blast.
Almost thirty one years on from his father’s sudden death Stephen has welcomed Ms Ni Riada’s comment which labelled the bombing an ‘atrocity’.
“That’s the first time in thirty one years that a member of Sinn Fein has refereed to Enniskillen as an atrocity.
“They always seem to dance around it saying it was a mistake as part of the ‘conflict’, a word I don’t like to use.
“Over thirty years later maybe they are coming round to the way of thinking that the likes of Enniskillen, Kingsmill and Omagh were acts of evil and should be condemned.
“The next step would be that she would condemn those that carried out the likes of the Enniskillen bomb.”
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition
Posted: 6:55 pm October 27, 2018