PSNI revelations over Enniskillen bomb '˜raise more questions' about probe

The failure to arrest several people said to be of interest to the Enniskillen bomb investigation leaves 'a number of glaring questions' for the PSNI, Tom Elliott has said.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 29th August 2016, 8:01 am
Updated Monday, 29th August 2016, 2:16 pm
The scene of the Enniskillen bomb seconds after the blast. Pacemaker/Belfast
The scene of the Enniskillen bomb seconds after the blast. Pacemaker/Belfast

The MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone was commenting following what he called a “startling revelation” ­– issued on behalf of the chief constable – that 14 individuals identified during the original investigation into the 1987 Remembrance Day atrocity were never questioned.

In response to a letter from the Co Fermanagh Grand Orange Lodge, Chief Superintendent Stephen Cargin said a total of 27 persons “of interest” were identified but only 13 were questioned about the IRA attack that claimed the lives of 12 people at the town’s cenotaph.

C/Supt Cargin also said that no new evidence has emerged in recent years, that no detectives were working on the case and that there is “no intention to conduct further investigative work unless credible new evidence is available”.

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Stephen Gault at Enniskillen Cenotaph

Mr Elliott said the families of the victims were frustrated that a report by the Historical Enquiries Team (HET), following a review of the original investigation, has been indefinitely delayed due to the HET’s closure in 2014.

“Were any of these 13 questioned again to establish if they could provide any further information?” he said.

“Why were there fourteen other individuals considered to be of interest to the HET review of the original investigation, that were not originally arrested and why was this not followed up by the HET or now the PSNI?

“Also, what exactly was the nature of the HET review of the investigation – if individuals were deemed to be ‘of interest’, was there any follow-up with any of then? We could effectively have 14 people who are of interest to the security services about the Enniskillen bomb who have not been questioned to establish if they can provide any information.”

Enniskillen Poppy Day bombing. Picture Pacemaker

Mr Elliott added: “The [PSNI’s] Legacy Investigation Branch needs to direct resources and officers towards a full and proper investigation into the Enniskillen bomb. Delayed reports by the HET into the original investigation are frankly not sufficient.

“The original investigation did not provide justice to the families, the long struggle for justice continues.”

Grand Lodge of Fermanagh Grand Master Stuart Brooker said the PSNI’s letter has left the Order questioning whether there are any “political and security cover-ups” taking place.

“Given that other cases such as the Bloody Sunday investigation has multiple officers investigating and the Enniskillen bomb HET review never got published, even though it was under review for many years, is outrageous,” he said.

The scene of the Enniskillen bomb seconds after the blast. Picure: Pacemaker

Mr Brooker said the Orange Order has taken a keen interest in this case over many years and has met with the HET.

He added: “We were assured the report would be concluded for the 25th anniversary of the murders, which would have been November 2012. We are now approaching the 30th anniversary and still no progress.

“As county grand officers, we again wrote earlier this year to the PSNI asking for an update. The response from the PSNI is extremely demoralising, given that there appears to be a lack of interest in the case from the authorities.”

Ken Funston of victims group SEFF (South East Fermanagh Foundation) works as a advocate in support of the Enniskillen families.

Stephen Gault at Enniskillen Cenotaph

He said: “It appears that the PSNI are playing out some type of charade that is causing confusion and distrust amongst the families. The hierarchy of victims has never been more apparent, Article 2 investigations will not be available to ordinary citizens murdered by terrorists, that is only reserved for those who have been killed by state actors.

“The chief constable informed the Enniskillen families in February this year that there was a definite line of inquiry, this has been denied by both his legacy and justice departments. Who do we believe?”

Enniskillen Poppy Day bombing. Picture Pacemaker
The scene of the Enniskillen bomb seconds after the blast. Picure: Pacemaker