IRA bombing relatives join service

Sun, Nov 13, 2011, 00:00

Relatives of those killed in the IRA’s Remembrance Day bombing in Enniskillen were among hundreds who gathered in solemn reflection at the town’s cenotaph today.

The annual commemoration service in Co Fermanagh has assumed added symbolic significance and been touched with a deeper poignancy since the 1987 atrocity in which 11 people were killed.

The town has become synonymous with Remembrance Day in the wake of the infamous
terrorist bombing, when the IRA blew up a building beside the cenotaph in the minutes before the event was due to start.

The republican group claimed its target had been parading military personnel but all their victims were civilians who had come to pay their respects to the fallen.

Army cadets and veterans’ associations were among those who took part in the traditional parade through Belmore Street ahead of the service today.

In bright autumn sunshine, the Union Flag was lowered ahead of the Binyon words being spoken.

The two-minute silence was observed impeccably as standards were lowered.

Stormont minister Arlene Foster and Ulster Unionist leader Tom Elliott, both local representatives, were among dignitaries who laid wreaths.

The town’s cenotaph was rebuilt after the bombing, with the addition of 11 doves to represent those who died in the IRA attack.

Elsewhere, services took place across Northern Ireland to mark Remembrance Day.

Thousands gathered at the cenotaph at Belfast City Hall.

Security was tight as the city centre came to a standstill for the hour-long event.

Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson and Northern Ireland Secretary of State Owen Paterson were among those in attendance.

Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Ruth Patterson, and Olympic hero Dame
Mary Peters led the commemoration.

PA