As each anniversary of the Enniskillen Remembrance Day bomb is marked, families of the victims still cling to even the most slender hope that one day, justice will be done and their perpetrators will be sentenced.

After 26 years, there has not even been a slight chance of that happening.

Now, there perhaps there is an even more remote chance of the bombers being brought to justice with the Secretary of State categorically ruling out a public inquiry into the bombing which made headlines around the world back in 1987.

That’s not to take away the efforts of the PSNI and HET team who have been working on the investigation with the aim of identifying those responsible. However as each year goes by, the hopes of justice seem further away.

The Secretary of State, who attended the Remembrance Sunday ceremony in Enniskillen this year, said this week she felt it was not for the Government to conduct an inquiry at this time but rather it was a matter for the police. While acknowledging that the victims’ families may be extremely disappointing at this, the Secretary of State said that public inquiries did not necessarily guarantee any better outcome than that carried out by the police.

The huge cost involved in the Bloody Sunday inquiry provoked much debate and certainly it would be pointless to go down the same road again unless there was a satisfactory result in the case of Enniskillen. If an inquiry is not to be held, then perhaps more resources should be made available to the PSNI to enable them to pursue their enquiries and to show the families of those who were so tragically killed in 1987 that no stone was being left unturned. To many of them, the investigation is simply heading into a blind alley.

Those speaking up for the victims’ families say they need assurances that everything is being explored.