IT WAS at exactly 10.43am on Remembrance Sunday in 1987 that one of the most notorious atrocities carried out by the IRA was to leave an indelible mark in the history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
The Yorkshire Post says: Never, ever again - Enniskillen’s stoicism recalled
Thousands of people had made their way to a memorial in the centre of Enniskillen to pay their respects to the war dead, but the sombre setting was shattered by the bombing which killed 11 victims and left another 68 wounded.
A 12th victim, Ronnie Hill, died in December 2000 after spending 13 years in a coma due to injuries sustained in the attack.
And now 30 years on from the Enniskillen bombing, relatives whose loved ones were killed have vowed to keep the victims’ memories alive and continue fighting for justice.
The families of victims and local representatives will attend a memorial unveiling today at the site of the bombing, and politicians and other dignitaries are expected to attend.
A memorial service will also be held at Enniskillen Presbyterian Church.
Joan Anderson, whose parents William and Agnes Mullan were killed in the attack, said: “I can say that after 30 years, you finally get to the point where you can accept that it happened but you do not forget and I am still angry about it.
“I’m angry that right across Northern Ireland, good people have been killed and we have been forgotten about.”
During a recent visit to Belfast, former US President Bill Clinton revealed that the Clinton Centre, a peace-building facility named in his honour and built on the site of the bombing, will receive a major investment towards its activities commemorating those who died.
Ten people were arrested in connection with the bombing, but no charges were ever brought.
Detective Superintendent Ian Harrison, from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Legacy Investigation Branch, said: “The Police Service of Northern Ireland remains committed to pursuing investigative options should they develop in the future.”
The Poppy Day bomb which ripped through the Co Fermanagh town led to condemnation from across the globe, and the political ramifications were significant as the IRA lost much of its international support.
The political wing of the Republican movement, Sinn Fein, resumed talks with John Hume, the leader of the mainstream nationalist party the SDLP, in a move which would sow the seeds of the modern peace process.
The device which caused the explosion was planted in a building close to the memorial, and when it detonated the walls collapsed on top of those who had gathered to pay respects to the war dead.
Police remain committed to bringing Enniskillen bombers to justice
The actions of the bombers stood in stark contrast to the response of bereaved father Gordon Wilson, who made headlines around the world with his words of forgiveness for those who killed his daughter Marie, a 19-year-old student nurse.
Another innocent victim of the Troubles was killed the following day when loyalist paramilitaries sought to retaliate by shooting a Catholic in west Belfast.
Due to mistaken identity, they killed a Protestant student, Adam Lambert. No one has ever been held to account for the Enniskillen bombing.
“The heartache never goes away. It’s just that a part of you goes with them but the longing in you for them never goes away,” Stella Robinson said.
Her parents, Bertha and Wesley Armstrong, were among the crowd paying their respects at the memorial service in Enniskillen when the bomb exploded.
Her brother, who was standing with them, survived, but Mr and Mrs Armstrong did not.
At the anniversary memorial service today, Ms Robinson’s granddaughter will be singing, a talent she has inherited from her great-grandfather who she never got to meet.
Ms Robinson said: “She has a beautiful voice, like my father did. That will be emotional, to see her singing. It will be like hearing him again.”