Wednesday 8th November 2017 will mark the 30th Anniversary of the Enniskillen Poppy Day Bomb. To remember this event, deemed as one of the darkest days of the Troubles, A Memorial Unveiling and Dedication Service followed by A Service of Remembrance have been arranged in the town.
The Memorial and Unveiling Dedication Service organised by the Ely Centre who has supported the families of the bereaved and injured in their efforts to erect a permanent memorial will be an open air service for the community. This service will commence at 10:30am and will occur on the site of the IRA explosion which murdered 12 civilians and injured over 70. This site currently housed by the Clinton Centre has in recent weeks received news of a multi-million pound investment due to occur on the site.
A large number of dignitaries have been invited to the events with an estimated 200 persons attending excluding family members of the bereaved and injured and those who assisted in the rescue effort. A representative of the Royal Household will participate in the unveiling of the memorial along with representatives of the bereaved families. Family members will be participating in the event to further mark this poignant occasion. The Great Granddaughters of Wesley and Bertha Armstrong and Kit and Jessie Johnston will be performing a solo and scripture reading. An original poem written by Mrs Anna Dixon a victim of the poppy day bomb along with her husband Jim Dixon, will be recited at the event by Mrs Sharon Harrington Gault and an original Pipe Lament composed by Ex Queens Piper James Stout will be performed. The Erne Lament will be performed during the unveiling by the composer who has kindly agreed to perform on the day.
The well-publicised Enniskillen Memorial to the bereaved and injured, which obtained planning permission in July 2017 has been created solely through voluntary donations totalling over £15,000. In a statement from Memorial Project Architects Neil Irvine Design “Planning Application was submitted on 13/01/17. Ref Number LA10/2017/0056/F. P1 form submitted with relevant drawings. P2a forms posted to Department of Infrastructure, Fermanagh University Partnership Board & St Michael’s Diocesan Trust notifying of our application. The Planning Department followed planning protocol with regard to public notification via local newspapers and also neighbourhood notification. Third parties / Stakeholders were given time to view and comment on the application. DRD Roads had concerns with the initial location on the footpath given the large volume of pedestrians passing and its potential trip hazard. The memorial was then relocated to its current location. Roads Service had no further objections. The amended location was publically adverted again in accordance with planning protocol and subsequently granted planning approval on 25th July 2017.
The memorial will be unveiled temporarily as the families await clarification on the redevelopment works on the site and where the memorial will feature permanently within this redevelopment. These negotiations have been scheduled to commence at the end of the month. Furthermore the group await the return of the signed License Agreement drafted by Ely Centre Solicitors to mitigate concerns raised by St Michaels Diocesan Trust (The Landowner) regarding the memorial, issued in September 2017 following a series of negotiations with bereaved family members which have occurred throughout the year.
Until these scheduled negotiations re the re-development of the site are completed and the aspirations of the families accomplished to have the memorial on the bombsite, the memorial will be housed in a temporary secure location in Enniskillen.
The unveiling service will conclude at 11:15 and this will be followed by a Service of Remembrance in Enniskillen Presbyterian Church, this service arranged by the clergy of Enniskillen under the guidance of Rev David Cupples is due to commence at 11:30am. Light refreshments will be available following this service in the Church Hall.