A woman whose mother was killed in the IRA Poppy Day bombing says she is determined to parade through Dublin to highlight the failures of the Irish government to come clean about its role in the Troubles.
Aileen Quinton’s elderly mother was murdered in the 1987 Remembrance Day atrocity in Enniskillen. She says that many people have misunderstood what the victims’ parade planned for Dublin later this month is about.
The retired Metropolitan Police risk management advisor took part in a previous march in Dublin in 2006, also organised by Willie Frazer, which resulted in a riot when gardai were attacked by Dublin-based protestors.
“People are quite rightly asking ‘why a Love Ulster parade in Dublin?’ as it is passing the memorial to the 1974 [UVF] Dublin bomb,” she said. “But all parades going to the heart of government in Dublin have to pass by the memorial.
“Our organisers wanted to lay a wreath in 2006 but the Garda would not let us stop. I no more support the UVF than the IRA – in Northern Ireland the most important thing is your stand on terrorism.”
Ms Quinton is at pains to point out that contrary to media assertions, neither the 2006 parade nor this year’s are in fact ‘Love Ulster’ parades, which were separate political events in 2006 across Northern Ireland.
“We are also parading for the many IRA victims who have close family in the Republic – my mother had two brothers and a sister in Donegal and Sligo.”
She believes there was a lack of cooperation from Dublin in the Historical Enquiries Team investigation into the Enniskillen bomb, the final report never having been published as the unit was closed.
“There are questions to be answered about the Dublin government’s role in the IRA’s formation and arming.
“But one of the very specific issues this parade will focus on is the ongoing inquest into the Kingsmills massacre. Despite repeated requests from the coroner for over a year the Irish authorities have yet to supply one piece of information.”
Taoiseach Enda Kenny visited the Poppy Day memorial event in 2013 but failed to follow through on promises to meet the relatives, she said.
“Dublin is pushing for investigations into the hooded men case, Pat Finucane and Bloody Sunday as if it had nothing to be pushed on itself. But it should not be all one-sided.
“There is a real problem with the contrasting commitments required of London and Dublin’s role in the past by the Stormont House Agreement – ‘full disclosure’ versus mere ‘disclosure’.”
She adds: “If people have a right to press the British government – and they do – then surely we have a right to push the Irish government too?”