AT a Downing Street meeting with Margaret Thatcher in the aftermath of the Enniskillen bombing, Sam Foster urged the so-called ‘Iron Lady’ to bring the perpetrators to justice.
A quarter of a century later, the fact that no one has even been convicted of involvement is a matter of great sadness for the now 81-year-old former Fermanagh District councillor.
Mr Foster was at the cenotaph with other members of the council on the day of the attack. One of his most vivid memories is of putting his hand on the neck of Wesley Armstrong – and of feeling his pulse fade away to a stop.
He also pulled his good friend Jim Dixon from the rubble, but for a terrifying period of time had no idea if his daughter Helen, who was at the other side of the gathering from him, had escaped unscathed.
“I was worried about Helen who was about 400 yards down the street at the butcher’s shop in Belmore Street,” he said.
“That was really frightening. She was expecting her second child at the time.
“It really frightened her. And her son, who was two at the time, every time he heard a bang afterwards he reacted to it.”
The former Minister for the Environment is also a qualified social worker and was instrumental in helping the injured and bereaved with the practical difficulties arising from their ordeal.
“I saw everyone who had been injured, or lost loved ones, or anybody who had anything damaged.
“I saw the people who had their cars damaged, or had their good suit ruined, to take the details.
“The cases were then brought before a small committee which was sitting in the town hall to see what they were entitled to.”
Mr Foster said he was “proud of the people of Enniskillen” for the way they refused to let the bombing destroy the wider community.
“You could easily have got people reacting to it, which we didn’t want, but it was very difficult for people to take.”
Shop owner Margaret Veitch, who lost both of her parents, William and Agnes Mullen, said her grief from that day was still raw because no one had ever be made amenable.
“The people that were at Enniskillen were ordinary, decent, lovely people. I really do feel Enniskillen has been forgotten,” Mrs Veitch said.
“Through the carnage and devastation the families all kept dignity – but that still doesn’t mean that we need our justice any less.
“And, I hope some day that the terrorists will be caught because we do need some kind of closure for our families.”