On the 12th of June 1973, two car bombs exploded in Coleraine. The first occurred at 3pm on Railway Road killing 6 people, whilst the second in Hanover Place causing further panic and confusion in the aftermath of the first.
Ahead of the 45th anniversary of the bombing in 2018, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council passed a notice of a motion that council ‘give consideration, following appropriate consultation, to the erection of a permanent, structural memorial to those who lost their lives.’
A public consultation was completed by LJ Consultancy in January 2021, which concluded that, whilst there was overwhelming support for a memorial, there was no consensus amongst the bereaved and injured about what a memorial should look like, or where it should be located. On that basis, it was recommended that Council ‘proceed with further engagement and facilitation with the families of victims, those injured and impacted to seek consensus on moving forward,’ which they agreed to undertake in March 2021.
Dr Máire Braniff and Dr Lisa Faulkner, LJ Consultancy, were subsequently awarded the tender to develop and deliver an Engagement Project with the bereaved and injured, ‘to reach consensus on the design of, wording of (if any), and location of a structural memorial to those who lost their lives’ in the 1973 Bomb at Railway Road.
The project was carried out over the period April-July 2021 in compliance with guidance of Covid-19 Public Health Association (PHA) and Northern Ireland Executive Office rules and regulations.
Tomorrow evening ( 17th August ) Councillors are being recommended according to a report to build and locate both a permanent structural memorial at the agreed site at Coleraine Town Hall, and a plaque at the location of the bomb at Railway Road (site of bomb).
The report reads "To use the agreed designs for both the memorial and plaque contained within the report and incorporate the following wording:
Plaque: ‘On 12th June 1973 a no warning IRA Car Bomb exploded on this spot resulting in the death of 6 innocent people, wounding and impacting the lives of countless more’
Memorial: ‘In loving memory of those killed on railway road on 12th June 1973: Frances Campbell (69) Dinish Campbell (72) Elizabeth Craigmile (76) Nan Davis (60) Elizabeth “Cissie” Palmer (60’)"
If passed, the decision will come before full Council next month for ratification.