Enniskillen bomb victim ‘sickened by glorification of Martin McGuinness’

Stephen Gault was 18 when he was injured in the Enniskillen bomb. His father Samuel died alongside him
Stephen Gault was 18 when he was injured in the Enniskillen bomb. His father Samuel died alongside him

A man whose father was killed in the Enniskillen bomb has said he is “sickened by the glorification” of former IRA commander Martin McGuinness.

Stephen Gault was just 18-years-old when he was caught up in the IRA terror attack during a Remembrance Sunday ceremony in November 1987.

The new Martin McGuinness portrait was unveiled at Stormont on Thursday

The new Martin McGuinness portrait was unveiled at Stormont on Thursday

He survived, but with rubble embedded in his face. His father Samuel – who was standing next to him when the bomb exploded –was killed along with 11 others, while more than 70 people were injured.

No one has ever been prosecuted for the atrocity, which was one of the darkest days of the Troubles.

Speaking to the News Letter after Thursday’s unveiling of a portrait of the former deputy first minister at Parliament Buildings, Mr Gault said he would never forgive Mr McGuinness for his IRA past.

He added: “When I think about Martin McGuinness I don’t think about what he did near the end of his life, I think about the havoc and pain that he inflicted as an IRA godfather.

“It sickens me to see him glorified as a peacemaker. To me he was not a man of peace, he was terrorist who never showed any remorse for his actions.”

Due to the injuries he sustained in the bombing, Mr Gault must take a cocktail of medicine which means he cannot father a child, with doctors telling him that there is a risk the baby could be born disfigured.

He believes those killed and injured in the atrocity over 30 years ago will likely never get justice.

“Martin McGuinness could have given us and many other families the closure we need before he died, but he has taken his secrets to the grave and I can never forgive him for that,” Mr Gault added.

“He never showed remorse , even at the end of his life. He was proud of his past.

“While everyone is entitled to remember the dead in their own way, to me Martin McGuinness will always be a terrorist.”