PLACARDS showing the aftermath of the Enniskillen bomb have been slammed by local politicians.
Two placards erected in Chanterhill in Enniskillen depicted images of the Enniskillen bomb, Kingsmill shootings, and Claudy bombs with the numbers of those killed and injured in each incident written on them.
The signage also featured a picture of Ireland with a Sinn Féin motif that had ‘IRA’ on it and a bloody hand.
Chanterhill residents said they first noticed the placards shortly before the local elections in May.
“Yes, these are all IRA attacks, but other tragedies have happened in this town to innocent Catholics,” one Chanterhill resident said.
“It’s the usual extremists trying to stir up hatred. Most of us just want to move on from all this.”
Local politicians Eddie Roofe of Alliance and Sinn Féin’s Dermot Browne condemned the placards.
“The installation of these posters should be roundly condemned by all parties. The Enniskillen bombing is a lasting scar in our town’s history, and its use here as a political statement is disappointing to see,” Mr Roofe said.
“The aftermath of the bombing, particularly the reconciliation exemplified by Gordon Wilson, showed the strength of character of the people of Enniskillen to the entire world. Posters like this do nothing to reconcile the past and only breed anger and resentment.
“I would call on those who erected these posters, to remove them immediately. It does not reflect the views of the Chanterhill area, which is a mixed community who have lived side by side for years.”
His comments were backed by Mr Browne, who said he was ‘shocked’ by what he saw.
“I can’t believe that someone went to so much effort to carry out such a grossly offensive and sectarian act,” Mr Browne said.
“These placards first appeared shortly before the Council election in May, I believe to discourage any residents of Chanterhill who wanted to vote for Sinn Féin, and also to prevent myself and the other Sinn Féin candidates from canvassing in the area.
“The reality is that Chanterhill is a mixed area with good community relations, and these actions have been carried out by a small minority who are attempting to cause division and intimidate any nationalists who live in the area.”
Mr Browne also said the placards were ‘a clear example of a hate crime’ and he had reported them to the PSNI.
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition