Taoiseach Micheál Martin has laid a wreath at the cenotaph in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh to mark Remembrance Sunday.
Thousands across Ireland and Great Britain gathered at 11 o’clock to mark the moment that the guns fell silent across the Western Front in 1918 and remember the victims of war.
Some 50,000 Irishmen died fighting in the Great War and Northern Ireland’s unionist community has always been especially diligent about marking the anniversary.
On Remembrance Sunday in 1987 the IRA set off a bomb during the ceremony in Enniskillen, killing 12 and wounding dozens more. The IRA later said it had made a mistake - the first time during the Troubles that the organisation admitted such a thing. No one was ever convicted for the bombing.
An honour to represent the Government, and lay a wreath, for Remembrance Sunday in Enniskillen today.
A poignant ceremony, 34 years after the Enniskillen Bombing which claimed 12 lives.
(Pic: PA) pic.twitter.com/aD932QsG62
— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) November 14, 2021
Local UUP councillor, Howard Thornton, told Newstalk that the attack of 1987 has always meant Remembrance Sunday has added poignancy in the County Fermanagh town:
“In Enniskillen it is so important here because of the tragedy that we suffered. So it’s a mix of celebrating those that came back and unfortunately those that didn’t make it back from all the different wars.
“But also in memory of those who actually fell at the cenotaph in Enniskillen on that dreadful day.”
Mr Martin’s presence in Enniskillen is a continuation of a tradition started by Enda Kenny, who first laid a wreath in 2012 - on the 25th anniversary of the bombing.
Cllr Thornton said the presence of An Taoiseach and numerous other visitors means a lot to the town:
“It really is a poignant day and normally we do have dignitaries, consulates and representatives.
“I mean it’s very, very nice to see [recognition of] what it means here to the town and what happened and the memory of those who have fallen.”
In London, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth gave the annual service a miss after straining her back - something Buckingham Palace said was a matter of “great regret” to the 95 year old monarch.
“Mindful of her doctors’ recent advice, The Queen has decided not to attend,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
Instead a wreath was laid on her behalf by her son, Prince Charles.
Main image: Micheál Martin in Enniskillen on Remembrance Sunday, 2020. Picture by: Brian Lawless/PA Archive/PA Images