…By Henry George for TDPel Media.
A memorial has been revealed on the 50th anniversary of the devastating bombing in Coleraine.
The town was rocked on June 12, 1973, when two Provisional IRA car bombs were detonated, resulting in the deaths of six people and injuring 33 others.
The first bomb exploded on Railway Road at 3pm, followed by a second blast five minutes later at Hanover Place.
On this solemn occasion, a minute’s silence was observed to commemorate the timing of the initial and most destructive explosion.
Dedication of the Memorial
Mayor Steven Callaghan led an act of remembrance before the dedication of the new memorial at Coleraine Town Hall.
In his speech, Mayor Callaghan expressed gratitude to the victims’ families for their input throughout the lengthy process of designing, selecting a location, and deciding on the wording for the memorial.
He emphasized that the memorial serves as a lasting testament to ensure that the innocent lives lost will never be forgotten.
Honoring the Victims and Collaboration with Families
Mayor Callaghan acknowledged the moving nature of the remembrance service and highlighted the significance of the sculpture in preserving the memory of the victims.
He praised the families of the victims for their participation in the collaborative process, which ultimately led to the creation of the memorial.
The sculpture provides a place for families to gather and remember their loved ones, ensuring their memory lives on.
A Permanent Reminder
The newly unveiled memorial is a permanent addition following the installation of a granite plaque last year, integrated into the pavement on Railway Road to mark the site of the first bomb explosion.
This permanent tribute aims to serve as a constant reminder of the tragic events that unfolded on that fateful day.
Acknowledging the Innocence of the Victims
The Coleraine bombing sparked anger among loyalist paramilitaries and resulted in a series of sectarian killings.
Politicians including East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell and TUV leader Jim Allister attended the memorial service.
Mr. Campbell welcomed the memorial as a reminder of those innocent lives lost and emphasized that attempts to equate the victims with the terrorists responsible for the attacks are absurd and unacceptable.
Recognizing a “Forgotten Atrocity”
Kenny Donaldson, director of the South East Fermanagh Foundation, commended the efforts to establish a permanent memorial in Coleraine, stating that it brings long-overdue recognition to what he referred to as a “forgotten atrocity.”
Donaldson pledged support for the families affected by the tragedy and expressed a commitment to standing with the innocent victims of Coleraine, ensuring their stories are heard and remembered.
The unveiling of a new memorial on the 50th anniversary of the Coleraine bombing pays tribute to the lives lost and affected by the tragic event.
The ceremony, attended by political figures and community members, emphasized the importance of remembering the innocent victims and ensuring that the atrocity is not forgotten.
The memorial stands as a permanent reminder of the horrors of terrorism, and efforts are being made to provide ongoing support to the families impacted by this devastating chapter in history.
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