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Enniskillen bombing recalled, 25 years on

16 November 2012


Not forgotten: the war memorial in Enniskillen, where a service was held on Thursday of last week

Not forgotten: the war memorial in Enniskillen, where a service was held on Thursday of last week

A SPECIAL service of remembrance was held at St Macartan's Cathedral, Enniskillen, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the IRA bomb-blast at the town's cenotaph. Eleven people died at the scene in 1987, and a 12th victim, a school principal, died 13 years later, having been in a coma after the attack.

At the service, which was conducted by the Dean, the Very Revd Kenneth Hall, and attended by several survivors of the bombing, the Bishop of Clogher, the Rt Revd John McDowell, said that it was a day when people recalled those who were themselves remembering when they were murdered on that Remembrance Sunday.

"For all of us on 8 November 1987, whether near or far from Enniskillen, we were aware that something almost indescribably depraved had happened: that people who had gathered for a simple and dignified act of Remembrance had now, through some perverted ingenuity, themselves suffered the same bloody devastation that had been visited on those whom they had gathered to remember."

In thanking God for the community, which refused to allow its relationships with one another, or its unique spirit, to be poisoned by enmity and violence, Dean Hall said that it did not mean having to condone in any way what had happened, or in any sense to try to minimise the horror of events.

"Nor does it mean that the ordinary operation of the criminal law should be set aside. Justice and forgiveness are not opposites. They are complementary virtues. An individual may be ready to forgive another person, but that does not relieve the state of its duty to protect its citizens through the application of the law against that same person, if they have committed a crime.

"However, our faith does mean that we are sorrowful that any human being could do such dreadful things as were done in this town 25 years ago. And grace also allows us to hope, if it is in any way possible, that somehow and some time, the people who committed this atrocity might feel the weight of the anguish and the pain they have caused in the heart of God, and in the lives of their neighbours, and might fall to their knees in sorrow."

The Provisional IRA was held responsible for the attack, in which an estimated 40lb-bomb was placed in a building close to the war memorial. No one was ever charged with the crime, but the Police Service of Northern Ireland is understood to be reviewing again the evidence in the case.


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