Enniskillen bomb: Victims demand ‘McGuinness files’

The scene of the IRA's Enniskillen bomb seconds after the blast in 1987
The scene of the IRA's Enniskillen bomb seconds after the blast in 1987

Terror victims have demanded police release files relating to the Enniskillen Poppy Day bomb, after it was claimed that the Northern Ireland Office blocked detectives from interviewing Martin McGuinness about the atrocity.

Innocent Victims United (IVU) spokesman Kenny Donaldson made the claim to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on Wednesday during its inquiry into Libya’s role in supplying arms to the IRA.

The IRA used semtex supplied by Libyan dictator Col Gaddafi in the 1987 Fermanagh attack, which killed 11 and maimed many more.

Last night, the PSNI was still to make any comment on claims that they were blocked from interviewing the Deputy First Minister about the atrocity.

Mr Donaldson yesterday also called for the Police Ombudsman to investigate what he believes is political interference from the highest levels in the police investigation.

“Innocent Victims United now calls for the immediate release of documentation concerning the Enniskillen Poppy Day Bomb case and the exchange of correspondence between the Senior Investigating Officer, Dave Cox (the then Head of HET which is now defunct), and the Northern Ireland Office,” he told the News Letter.

“We ask, is the Chief Constable now investigating this matter, as we would understand there is a requirement for him to do so? Any attempt to prevent a full investigation could be deemed a criminal offence.

“We also expect the Police Ombudsman’s office to take an urgent interest in this matter.

“We make no apology for standing up for the innocent victims and survivors of terrorism and we expect others to also do so, ensuring that the integrity of our criminal justice system and rule of law is upheld.”

Mr Donaldson made his original claim to MPs at Westminster on Wednesday.

“We have also been advised by a senior former [PSNI] Historical Enquiry Team investigator that he had cause to wish to bring in the Deputy First Minister regards the atrocity,” he told the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee. “He was prevented from doing so. The NIO advised that would not be a good idea and it did not happen.”

A Sinn Fein spokesman responded: “Martin McGuinness totally rejects this attempt based on unsubstantiated hearsay to link him to the Enniskillen bombing.”

The NIO said it “strongly rebuked” the IVU claims. A spokeswoman said: “The operational independence of the police in conducting investigations is fundamental to the rule of law. The NIO does not interfere in operational decision making.”

In 2008, Mr McGuinness was named as one of the senior IRA commanders who knew about the Enniskillen bombing in advance. The claim was broadcast on the BBC by one of the most respected journalists to have covered the Troubles, Peter Taylor.

On Thursday night, the PSNI declined to comment on Mr Donaldson’s claims.

“We are aware of the statement made in parliament yesterday but we will not be making any comment at this time,” a spokeswoman said.