Son of Enniskillen bomb victim 'will always remember McGuinness as terrorist'

The son of an IRA bombing victim, killed in one of the most notorious atrocities in Northern Ireland's troubled history, has said he cannot forgive Martin McGuinness for his terrorist past.

Stephen Gault saw his father Samuel, 49, killed by an IRA bomb in Enniskillen in November 1987. The then 18-year-old was also injured in the blast.

The IRA bomb exploded near the town's war memorial during a Remembrance Sunday ceremony, which was being held to commemorate British military war dead. Eleven people, many of them old-age pensioners, were killed and 63 were injured.

Enniskillen, November 1987

Speaking about the death of Mr McGuinness - who was once accused in a TV documentary of knowing in advance about the bombing - Mr Gault said he would always remember the former Stormont deputy first minister as a terrorist, not a peacemaker.

"My feelings are with the Enniskillen families. Martin McGuinness has taken to the grave the truth and the answers that we need to be able to move forward. He knows who bombed Enniskillen. Initially my thoughts and prayers go out to the Enniskillen victims," said Mr Gault.

He added: "I will always remember Martin McGuinness as the terrorist he was. If he had been repentant my thoughts might have been slightly different. But he took to his grave proud that he served in the IRA. There was no remorse or repentance from him even up to his death."

McGuinness (centre) at the funeral of IRA explosives expert Colm Keenan in 1972.

Mr Gault said he feared that Mr McGuinness would only be remembered as a peacemaker.

"My fear is Martin McGuinness is going to be remembered as this great peacemaker similar to the way Nelson Mandela was remembered after his death. My fear is that his horrific past will not be mentioned.

"People might say I am unchristian that I have no sympathy for his family. But it wasn't Christian to send people out to murder innocent people.

"Did the McGuinness family feel any sympathy for the Gault family when my father was cruelly and brutally murdered at the age of 49 by an IRA bomb?

"I have heard all this talk about how Martin McGuinness was only 66. My father was only 49 when he was murdered. He wasn't even 50. He was a very young man."

Meanwhile, former British MP Lord Tebbit, who was injured in the 1984 Brighton bombing and whose wife was left wheelchair-bound, said: "The world is now a sweeter and cleaner place (since Martin McGuinness died)."

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, he added: "He was a coward. The reason he suddenly became a man of peace, was that he was desperately afraid that he was going to be arrested and charged with a number of murders."

 

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