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Taoiseach joins Foster for war dead ceremony in Enniskillen

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Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene  Foster with Minister of State Robin Walker and Taoiseach Micheál Martin during a  Remembrance Sunday service in Enniskillen. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster with Minister of State Robin Walker and Taoiseach Micheál Martin during a Remembrance Sunday service in Enniskillen. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

PA

Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster with Minister of State Robin Walker and Taoiseach Micheál Martin during a Remembrance Sunday service in Enniskillen. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The Taoiseach has joined Stormont's first minister in laying wreaths at a socially-distanced Remembrance Day service in Enniskillen.

Micheál Martin became the third Taoiseach to attend the commemorative event in the Co Fermanagh town, following on from a tradition started by Enda Kenny and continued by his successor Leo Varadkar.

Mr Martin laid a laurel wreath at the war memorial on Sunday morning before standing in silence to pay his respects.

Dignitaries

Arlene Foster, an Assembly member for the constituency, and Northern Ireland Office Minister Robin Walker were among the other dignitaries to participate.

The event is usually attended by hundreds of local people but numbers were limited this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It took place 33 years to the day since the IRA's infamous 'Poppy Day' bomb attack at the Enniskillen war memorial.

11 people who had gathered to pay respects to the war dead were killed and dozens more injured in the no-warning blast in 1987 just minutes before the event was due to start.

A 12th victim of the bombing died 13 years later having never woken from a coma. Relatives of some of those killed attended on Saturday.

Stephen Gault, whose father Samuel was murdered, said the smaller numbers in attendance made it more poignant.

"It's hard to believe that on this exact day 33 years ago that my father and other 11 innocent people were brutally murdered at this site," he said.

"It's very poignant. It made it hit home. It was smaller numbers but it doesn't take away from the day."

He praised Mr Martin for attending."It was great the Taoiseach was able to carry on the tradition set a number of years ago. I personally think it's greatly appreciated that he's carried on that tradition, particularly as it's a different Taoiseach from previous years."


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