Welcome for ‘positive’ statement on Poppy Day bomb memorial

The new memorial to the 12 victims of the IRA's 1987 Remembrance Sunday bomb attack  in Enniskillen. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The new memorial to the 12 victims of the IRA's 1987 Remembrance Sunday bomb attack in Enniskillen. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The charity behind a monument to victims of the 1987 Poppy Day bombing has welcomed a “positive” statement by the Catholic church trust which has yet to give permission for the structure to be placed on their property.

The bomb exploded at the town’s cenotaph on November 8, 1987, resulting in the deaths of 12 people.

The Ely Centre last week unveiled a monument to the victims on property belonging to the adjacent Catholic church – at the precise location where the bomb had been planted. However the monument was immediately packed up and removed after the service, amid media claims that the church objected to the text on the monument, which said the victims had been murdered by the IRA.

On Sunday a letter from diocesan administrator Monsignor Joseph McGuinness was read out in churches in the area stating that the memorial had been the subject of “much speculation and comment in the media and elsewhere, much of it ill-informed”.

The statement said the church had no objection to text on the monument, nor of the symbol of the poppy on it, but that as the trust which holds the land was only given notification of the planning application six weeks ago, it must work through a range of legal issues before giving it the green light.

The Ely Centre said it welcomed “the positive tone” of the statement in relation to the monument text and poppy symbol. It said it requires clarification on a number of issues which it will seek to discuss in private with the trust.

“In particular we welcome the positive tone of the statement in acknowledging the importance of memorials in remembrance; equally, their position on the memorial text and the poppy is welcomed and expected.”

Sharon Gault, whose husband’s father was killed in the bomb, said it was unfortunate the statement “did not confirm that they give permission for the memorial to be displayed”.