On November 8 1987 the IRA detonated a no-warning bomb in Enniskillen, killing 12 civilians and injuring hundreds. They made various excuses to attempt to camouflage their act of sectarian barbarity.
On the same day, at approximately the same time 18 miles away, they tried to detonate a second device near the village of Tullyhommon.
The bomb at Enniskillen was approximately 40lbs, the Tullyhommon bomb was 150lbs, almost four times greater.
This device was hidden behind a hedge with a command wire running across the border river. The IRA’s target in Tullyhommon was the Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade, a local pipe band and a few veterans.
The IRA’s intention was to wipe out a generation of Protestant border children; they tried to fire the device but it failed to go off due to damage to the command wire.
There were many other cases where children were, in the IRA’s mentality, unfortunate collateral such as Warrington, victims that Martin McGuinness would claim were “hurt through their own fault; being too nosey, sticking around the place where the bomb was”.
We are fully aware of the atrocity that took place in Manchester on Monday, an attempt to kill as many children and young persons as possible by violent extremists with a warped ideology.
Quite rightly it was condemned by everyone, including Sinn Fein. Yet many are unaware of what Sinn Fein and their IRA bed-fellows were doing a generation previously.
Gerry Adams stated: “This was a shocking and horrendous attack on children and young people enjoying a concert. Our thoughts are with those killed and with all those who are injured.”
Shocking indeed that his party condoned a similar attack in 1987. Maybe they believed that children remembering the war dead were legitimate targets in the same perverted mindset that drives Isis-Daesh.
The reconciliation that Sinn Fein demands has some way to go when this horrendous event in Manchester reminds us of unwanted memories that are still so very vivid.
• Ken Funston’s brother was murdered by the IRA in 1984 at the family farm on the Fermanagh-Donegal border