Enniskillen Remembrance Day Bomb
What a terrible year 1987 proved to be: the Herald of Free Enterprise Disaster , the Loughall Ambush and the Hungerford Massacre all claimed many lives; the Great Storm added nature’s weight to the carnage. In November a further horrific event was added to that litany: the Enniskillen Remembrance Day Bombing.
Eleven people attending a ceremony to commemorate the dead of WWI and WWII were blown to pieces by a huge bomb placed near the town’s cenotaph by the IRA. Another man lived for another 13 years in a coma.
It was a dreadful, planned, barbaric act of terrorism. But in retrospect it was one of the turning points in the ending of The Troubles . Revulsion around the world was enormous: pensioners had been targeted by those who claimed to be fighting a war, though as ever apologists for the bombers tried to claim that they were not the intended victims, without being able to explain how the bomb could discriminate between civilians and military personnel. Sinn Fein lost support at elections, and for years afterwards, perhaps driving home a message to their leaders. And Catholics who had stayed away from such ceremonies began to attend them to show solidarity.
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