D-Day Commemorations: Enniskillen

Members' Statements – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 12:15 pm on 10 June 2024.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Tom Elliott Tom Elliott UUP 12:15, 10 June 2024

My statement is a follow-on to Mrs Erskine's comments about the D-Day celebrations, but I want to look at a more positive aspect. Obviously, a great sacrifice and commitment was made by those who fought 80 years ago.

In Fermanagh, over the weekend, we had some great events put on by local people. On Thursday, Gary Wilson read the national D-Day proclamation at the Watergate in Enniskillen, accompanied by the pipes and drums of the Royal Dragoon Guards. At 11.00 am, Enniskillen Model Primary School and Jones Memorial Primary School took part in activities and hosted commemorations. At 6.30 pm on Thursday, the bells of St. Macartin's Cathedral rang, followed by a community service that was attended by a large congregation.

On Saturday morning, there was a drumhead service in Trory parish church. However, the finale was obviously from 11 am to 5 pm, when we had activities and events at St Angelo airport, which was a great location, and thousands attended. People came from across the community to participate, listen to the musical entertainment and see the stands and activities.

I put on record my thanks and congratulations, particularly to Selwyn Johnston and his team, who put on the event without any direct funding or much support from statutory agencies. He did it himself, along with a small group of volunteers. Thank you to Selwyn, and well done to him and his team.