SEFF’s Director of Services Kenny Donaldson stated: “Our organisation were once again privileged to work collaboratively with residents of the Ballygawley road in enabling the 30th Anniversary of the Ballygawley Bus Bomb to be marked appropriately”.
“There was an extremely large attendance at the roadside this year and the largest contingent of 1st Light Infantry former personnel and families returning to Omagh and Ballygawley”.
“It was especially encouraging to witness many have the strength to speak out this year in offering public interviews. Over the course of the weekend it became clear that many of those returning do have a deep interest in Northern Ireland related matters, in how the past is being represented and moreover what needs doing to improve support services in Great Britain for those suffering as a result of The Northern Ireland Troubles”.
“The weekend also brought home once again the heavy emotional and psychological price paid by those who came upon the aftermath of the atrocity – Omagh Protestant Boys and Star of the Valley, Londonderry, the military who policing response, the local Commubity and the medical profession. Trauma based support was not available at that time and many have carried on down the years without having dealt with the issues haunting their minds, we will be redoubling our efforts as an organisation in getting the necessary support put in place for surgery individuals”.
“The Ballygawley Road bombing was a cowardly act perpetrated by terrorists of the Provisional IRA, there was no justification and there was no honour in what was done. Eight young men in their prime were cut down and 28 others physically and scarred for life with many dying prematurely”.
“None of us can undo what has been done but we can but hope and pray that our efforts along with The Ballygawley Road residents will bring some comfort and recognition to those who lost much as a result of our ‘Troubles.’
“Let it be understood that those murdered were innocents, they were legitimate soldiers, they did not conceal their identity with balaclavas, they were here to do a job, to protect the community – The FULL Community and many people are determined that this will never be diminished or forgotten,” concluded Mr Donaldson.
You can view the livestream of the road-side service and dedication of the memorial here.