Saturday 16 December 2017

Taoiseach lays Remembrance Sunday wreath at site of Enniskillen bombing

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar lays a wreath at the war memorial during events to remember the 12 victims of the IRA's 1987 Remembrance Sunday bomb attack in Enniskillen: Phil Fitzpatrick/PA Wire
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar lays a wreath at the war memorial during events to remember the 12 victims of the IRA's 1987 Remembrance Sunday bomb attack in Enniskillen: Phil Fitzpatrick/PA Wire

Michael McHugh, Press Association

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has laid a laurel wreath at the site of an IRA Remembrance Sunday bombing in Northern Ireland.

It is 30 years since the attack at the Cenotaph in Enniskillen in Co Fermanagh killed 11 people outright and left 68 injured, while a 12th victim, Ronnie Hill, died after spending 13 years in a coma.

Mr Varadkar was continuing the tradition of his predecessor as Irish premier, Enda Kenny, in attending the Remembrance Sunday ceremony.

DUP leader Arlene Foster, Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire, and Police Service of Northern Ireland chief constable George Hamilton also laid tributes.

The US government's representative in Northern Ireland, Dan Lawton, also placed a floral wreath beside the monument to the fallen.

He helped a frail elderly veteran by the arm.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire, DUP leader Arlene Foster and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar attend the Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph wreath laying ceremony and commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the IRA Enniskillen bombing in Enniskillen. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire, DUP leader Arlene Foster and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar attend the Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph wreath laying ceremony and commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the IRA Enniskillen bombing in Enniskillen. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Various military representatives placed tributes.

A band played the Last Post and the street was thronged with onlookers.

The event remembers those who died in the First World War, Second World War and later conflicts.

Afterwards a service was held in St Macartin's Cathedral in Enniskillen.

Senior officials at the Catholic diocese in the town have moved to reassure all members of the community amid a row about the proposed location of a memorial to the 1987 Enniskillen bombing.

Rt Rev Joseph McGuinness, administrator for the Diocese of Clogher, said the church had "no objection whatsoever to a permanent memorial being erected to the victims", and that it would carefully consider an application to site it on church land.

His remarks came amid fears that community relations between Protestants and Catholics could be damaged in the town amid a row over the placement of a memorial for the atrocity.

On the precise 30th anniversary of the bomb on Wednesday, a temporary memorial was unveiled to the 12 victims but quickly moved pending a decision on its future.

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