SINN Féin members gave their backing to a DUP motion calling on Fermanagh and Omagh District Council to show solidarity with the victims, survivors and all those impacted by the Enniskillen Remembrance Day bomb 30 years ago.

At the monthly meeting of the local authority in Omagh last Tuesday night, DUP councillor, Keith Elliott, spoke movingly about the devastation he witnessed at first hand in Enniskillen on Sunday, November 8, 1987.

In proposing the motion, he also called on the Council to show gratitude to the emergency services, medical staff and volunteers who provided support for the injured, deceased and their families.

Mr. Elliott said: “I was there that day and understand the bravery and acts of kindness that came from the community. I saw a town I love and now represent reduced to rubble. I saw the lives lost, the carnage and I vividly remember the sounds. Those are scenes that will never leave you. Tribute must be paid to those that served on that day – emergency service, medical staff and volunteers who still carry the scars, both mentally and physically.”

The DUP representative said that the Enniskillen bomb was something the Council should be able to send a “united message” about.

However, he added: “Unfortunately, that united stance has been impossible recently and this Council has not been setting the example of civic leadership that it should.”

Mr. Elliott acknowledged that the motion did not undo any of the pain and trauma that events in the Council chamber over recent months had caused.

But he added: “I would hope that every Councillor in this chamber can support this motion and at least allow one positive example of leadership to go forward.”

Speaking in response on behalf of Sinn Fein, Omagh councillor Martin McColgan said that the Enniskillen bomb was wrong and should never have happened.

“The pain of those bereaved and injured at Enniskillen should be acknowledged and I have no difficulty in supporting this motion,” Mr. McColgan told the chamber.

However, the Sinn Féin representative said that, equally, it should be recognised that the suffering of the Enniskillen victims was no different from all those bereaved and injured in the conflict.

“The suffering of all should be acknowledged and parity of esteem must extend to all the victims and their communities,” he added.

Mr. McColgan insisted that Sinn Féin had not shirked their responsibility in this area.

“We regularly meet with groups diametrically opposed to republican views, aims and aspirations. We have met with people who have suffered and we shall continue to meet with them and do all in our power to ease their pain.

“We have written to the Royal British Legion seeking discussions on how we can take the issue of remembrance and reconciliation forward in an inclusive and respectful way,” he said.

Meanwhile, UUP councillor Diana Armstrong, noted that no one had ever been brought to justice for the bombing.

She said: “The victims’ families want justice and closure, but cannot achieve that given the current refusal by the perpetrators to disclose information.”

The Enniskillen councillor then proposed an amendment to the motion, calling on anyone with information on the planning and execution of this act of terrorism to inform the PSNI.

Mr. Elliott’s original motion was passed by the Council after gaining the support of all the parties and independent members present in the Chamber.