Victims remembered at 25th Anniversary of Ballygawley Bus Bombings

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A SPECIAL Memorial service was held yesterday to remember the victims of the Ballygawley Bus Bombings, 25 years on from when 8 soldiers of the Light Infantry were murdered by the Provisional IRA and a further 28 were injured.

A service was held on Sunday morning to remember the victims, surviving families and those who were hurt in the attack, ahead of its 25th anniversary this Tuesday.

The gathering took place at the site of the bombing on the Ballygawley to Omagh road. A subsequent church service was held in Newtownsaville Church of Ireland. Some of those who treated casualties at the scene were there.

Circa 12 wreaths were laid by various organisations at the site of the Bomb (including Innocent Victims United) within the Act of Remembrance service and Omagh Protestant Boys played music.

Dr Dominic Pinto, who was a surgeon at Tyrone County Hospital, said: “It was chaos when they came in because there were a number of injuries. What saddened me was how young these guys were, they were like my own young children.”

Stephen Gault, Chairman of Justice for Innocent Victims of Terrorism Ltd and of Innocent Victims United, who is himself a Survivor of the Enniskillen Poppy Day Bomb said: “As Chairman of Justice for Innocent Victims of Terrorism I was privileged to be in attendance at what was an extremely touching ‘Act of Remembrance,’ held at the site of the Ballygawley Bus Bombing massacre.”

“I along with my colleague Kenny Donaldson laid a wreath on behalf of Innocent Victims United in memory of the soldiers who perished at the hands of ruthless terrorists 25 years ago. It was especially poignant for me as it was only last November that I was standing in Enniskillen at the Cenotaph remembering my own father and 11 others whose lives were also cut prematurely by the actions of fascists.”

“On that day I was overwhelmed by the support I received from victims across Northern Ireland and members of the wider community and for this reason I and others felt it important that we were present at Sunday’s Act of Remembrance and the subsequent Church Service held in Newtownsaville Church of Ireland.”

“It is important that those families based in Great Britain who lost loved ones as a consequence of the Northern Ireland terror campaigns understand that there are many people across Northern Ireland who share their grief and their sorrow and are united with them in remembering their loved ones.”

“Innocent Victims United is a large family support Network which is there to offer support to innocent Victims throughout the UK and further afield who are in need and going forward we will be making ourselves available to the families of those bereaved and also to those who were injured at Ballygawley should they require our assistance,” concluded Mr Gault.