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1987: Bomb kills 11 at Enniskillen

VIDEO : Bomb explodes during remembrance day silence

A bomb has exploded during a Remembrance Day service at Enniskillen in County Fermanagh, killing 11 people.

It is the highest death toll in a terrorist attack in Northern Ireland for five years.

At least 63 people were injured in the blast, nine of them seriously.

The device went off without warning at 1045 GMT at the town's cenotaph where people had gathered to pay their respects to the war dead.

The bomb is believed to have been hidden in a nearby hall.

It blew out one of the building's walls, showering the area with debris and burying some people in several feet of rubble.

The dead included three married couples, a retired policeman and a nurse.


"It's really desecrating the dead and a blot on mankind"

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Thirteen children are among the injured.

The Queen has sent her "heartfelt sympathy" to the people of Enniskillen.

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has said the bombing was "utterly barbaric".

"It's really desecrating the dead and a blot on mankind," Mrs Thatcher said.

The head of the Church of Ireland, Archbishop Robin Eames, who was at Enniskillen said he "wished the bombers could have seen what I have seen".

As yet no organisation has said they planted the device but the chief constable of Northern Ireland has said he has no doubt the bomb was the work of the IRA.

Enniskillen is a town with a long military tradition having sent many soldiers to the battlefields of the First and Second World Wars.

Its proximity to the border with the Irish Republic, a ready escape route, means it is an easy target for the IRA.

In Context
In the aftermath of the bombing a tone of forgiveness was set by Gordon Wilson whose daughter, Marie, was killed and who was himself injured in the attack.

"I bear no ill will. Dirty sort of talk is not going to bring her back to life. She was a great wee lassie," Mr Wilson said.

A group called Enniskillen Together was set up to further the cause of reconciliation in the area.

The IRA lost support worldwide after the bombing.

On Remembrance Day 1997 the leader of the IRA's political wing, Gerry Adams, formally apologised for the bombing.

In December 2000 the last victim of the Enniskillen bomb died.

Ronnie Hill, 68, went into a coma two days after being injured and never regained consciousness.


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