Irish Republican News · November 11, 2017
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: The forgotten victim of Enniskillen
The forgotten victim of Enniskillen

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The 30th anniversary of the Enniskillen bombing was widely commemorated this week in Ireland and Britain, but Adam Lambert, a young Protestant killed instead of a Catholic in a reprisal attack, was largely forgotten.

His 85-year-old mother Ivy Lambert said that her son was the 13th victim of Enniskillen.

“The Enniskillen bomb was such a big thing and he was just a single person, so people thought that he had become forgotten in the middle of it all. I don’t want him to be forgotten, I want him to be kept alive in peoples’ memory.”

The ‘Poppy Day’ bomb saw 12 civilians die when a device intended to strike a British Army regiment marching to a Remembrance Day event exploded prematurely. The 1987 tragedy in the centre of the Fermanagh town became one of the biggest setbacks for the IRA, as well as the cause of peace in the North of Ireland.

Politicians and other dignitaries attended a memorial unveiling at the site of the attack this week . British Direct Ruler James Brokenshire, PSNI Chief George Hamilton and church leaders were there, while the English queen sent renewed sympathies in a written message read by Viscount Brookeborough. The 26 County Taoiseach, Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar, wore a poppy badge in the Dublin parliament to mark the anniversary.

But as Enniskillen was widely commemorated, Adam Lambert was largely forgotten.

Adam was just 20 years old when he was shot dead in Belfast the day after the attack by loyalist paramilitaries acting in collusion with British forces.

He was shot dead while on work experience at a building site in the Highfield estate in west Belfast by the same group of UDA/MI5 killers which carried out the murder of Belfast defence lawyer Pat Finucane two years later. According to reports, they thought Adam was a Catholic member of the IRA named Gerry.

In his 2003 report into collusion between the Crown forces and loyalist paramilitaries, former London police chief John Stevens said there was enough evidence to conclude that the murder was “preventable”. There has never been a proper investigation into collusion allegations.

But as the 30th anniversary of the Enniskillen bombing was widely commemorated, Mrs Lambert said she just wanted her son to be remembered.

“The Enniskillen bomb was such a big thing and he was just a single person, so people thought that he had become forgotten in the middle of it all. I don’t want him to be forgotten, I want him to be kept alive in peoples’ memory.”

Mrs Lambert said her son was a handsome and popular man, studying building science, and well-liked by all who met him.

“He was an absolutely superb young man,” she said. “He would have been a great member of society. He was meticulous about everything, particularly in his studies - he never missed a lecture.”

Reflecting on the day she heard the news of her son’s murder in the Highfield estate in west Belfast, she said: “I never thought when I heard the news about the Enniskillen bomb on the Sunday that I’d be hearing the same thing about my own child the next day.”

However, she said she harbours no bitterness or anger about his death: “It’s a long, long time ago now. People say time isn’t a great healer but I think it is. Thankfully, we never had vitriol or anger.

“I suppose we accepted it, we thought that’s the way Adam was supposed to go. A lot of people will think that’s a silly way of looking at it. But I thought that Adam has done as much in 20 years as many people do in a lifetime. He shed a lot of love and light around and he was very well liked.”

© 2017 Irish Republican News