Fermanagh victims’ group: ‘Cruel and shameful proposal which will reawaken deep hurt’

A sea of faces at the Bobby Sands march in 1981
A sea of faces at the Bobby Sands march in 1981

A Fermanagh victims’ group has described plans to hold a hunger strike commemoration through Derrylin as “a cruel and shameful proposal which will reawaken deep hurt within those who have had loved ones murdered within the village and surrounding areas”.

The row comes almost 12 months after an IRA commemoration parade in Castlederg caused a heated row which drew in the Secretary of State and First and Deputy First Ministers.

Kenny Donaldson of victims’ group South East Fermanagh Foundation said: “Today we have spoken to a number of the families affected and their feelings range from anger, numbness and sheer disbelief. Each has said that they feel that they have been taken back to the day when their loved one(s) were murdered.”

He added: “This is but the latest attempt being made to glorify and romanticise terrorism in a bid to de-criminalise its roots and effects – so that such events and practices become firmly rooted within the ‘mainstream’ of our society.”

UUP MLA Tom Elliott said that “again we witness the insensitivities of Sinn Fein and the republican movement – holding a hunger strike commemoration in Derrylin where IRA terrorists murdered several innocent people”.

He added: “These included a farmer and his wife while they were watching TV, a school bus driver when he was collecting primary school children from the school and a primary school teacher when at his place of work in front of the young children.”