Today I was honoured to join with my friends and neighbours in Enniskillen in remembering, with deep sadness, the terrible event of thirty years ago. Nothing could more clearly demonstrate the cruelty, the horror and the pointlessness of violence, and the sorrow of the memory will remain in the heart of our town forever.
And so will our hope. For the lasting legacy of that terrible day is not the division which it so starkly revealed, not a bitter spiral of revenge, but compassion and community. Gordon Wilson’s words, “I bear no ill will,” reverberated around the world but also embedded themselves deeply here at home. The generous and brave response of the people of Enniskillen led to long-lasting initiatives for real reconciliation, and the healing of many wounds. The Fermanagh Churches Forum is one such response; the town’s integrated schools another. It has been a privilege for me to have been deeply connected to both.
In today’s divided world the spirit of Enniskillen lives on, in quiet courage, and is needed more than ever. Thank you to my adopted town, my home, for teaching me so much.