Making a symbolic visit to Enniskillen for Remembrance Sunday last weekend, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Northern Ireland Secretary of State Julian Smith took part in the commemoration by laying wreaths at the town’s Cenotaph.

During the commemoration, Mr. Varadkar laid a green laurel wreath. It is the second time Mr. Varadkar has taken part in the event, and the eighth year that the Irish government has been represented.

Mr. Smith placed a floral wreath at the Cenotaph on Belmore Street, Enniskillen, the scene where the IRA bomb detonated during the Remembrance Sunday ceremony in 1987. Eleven people were killed in the bombing. A 12th, Ronnie Hill, went into a coma and died 13 years later. Other wreaths were laid by RAF air cadets, the commanding officer of the Royal Dragoon Guards from Catterick Garrison in Yorkshire, a Regimental Association of the Royal Irish Regiment, the local council, Ulster Unionist Party, the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers Regimental Association, representatives from local schools and former First Minister and Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster.

Large crowds gathered in Belmore Street for the Remembrance Parade, which was led by Ballyreagh Silver Band.

A Remembrance Day Service was held in St. Macartin’s Cathedral which was led by the Dean of Clogher, the Very Reverend Kenneth Hall, assisted by Monsignor Peter O’Reilly, from St. Michael’s Church. The preacher was the Bishop of Clogher, Right Reverend John McDowell.

Among those attending were; Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for County Fermanagh, Viscount Brookeborough; the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Mr. Julian Smith M.P. representing the UK Government; the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D. representing the Irish Government; The Deputy US Consul General, Bryan Wockley, representing the American Government; the Hon Consul for Poland, Jerome Mullen, representing the Polish Government and the former First Minister, Arlene Foster MLA, representing the Northern Ireland Assembly. All government representatives led the prayers.

The lessons were read by John Jones, Chairman of the Enniskillen Branch, Royal British Legion; Viscount Brookeborough and Monsignor O’Reilly.

In his address, the Bishop of Clogher said that almost all wars over the last 200 years had arisen from a failure to understand the destructive power of a certain type of nationalism.

Bishop McDowell said: “All war and all conflict between nations are failures of diplomacy. That is as true today as it was in the run up to the Great War. And a failure of diplomacy is a failure to talk sympathetically, intelligibly and truthfully across national boundaries.

“But that failure begins at home when Governments delude their own people and perhaps even delude themselves into unreal assessments of their virtues and vices.

“It happens when a certain type of political pharisaism is allowed to develop. Pharisaism ends in hypocrisy but it doesn’t begin there. It doesn’t begin in conscious duplicity but in an unconscious unreality, which makes false estimates of the world and of its own powers. It derives from a self confidence that has never had its confidence shaken.”

“It is not a disease of the mind but of the soul. It is so far removed from the true data of life that it doesn’t even suspect just how unreal it is.

“And it can be as deadly in political or civic life now as it was in religious and civic life in Germany in 1914,” the Bishop concluded.