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15 January 1998 Edition

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Did RUC know of attack?

AN PHOBLACHT HAS LEARNED that the RUC may have had prior knowledge of a loyalist attack on the night West Belfast man 28 year old Terry Enright was shot dead in the Space Club in Belfast city centre. The shooting took place in the early hours of Sunday morning 11 January.

According to information we have received a senior RUC officer at the scene of the shooting said the RUC had information that a loyalist attack was planned and was overheard saying, ``we were told something was going to happen''.

Our source said that the RUC officer claimed there was to be ``a high (security) presence'' in the area because of the warning.

However, according to other reports we received the only RUC patrol seen in the area actually passed the club, which is owned by a sister-in-law of PUP politician David Ervine, a short time before the killers' car.

From our information the sequence of events at the time of the killing is: just after midnight an RUC patrol passed by the Space Club and within minutes an AI taxi pulled up and some people who were going into the club got out. It was then that a red Sierra, with two gunmen on board, appeared and the driver opened fire.

The driver fired from his seat while the passenger emerged, leaned across the roof and fired; both men had camouflage markings across their faces.

Reports indicate that some of the club's bouncers were standing outside. Contrary to initial reports which said the shooting was indiscriminate, the firing was aimed at Terry Enright who, although hit in the stomach, managed to run down the narrow enclosed Talbot Street for about 40 or so yards before the passenger turned and fired. ``It was a corridor of death, there was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide,'' we were told.

A witness to the events was adamant that the gunmen fired aimed shots and were quite cool in that the car didn't pull away from the scene immediately, but seemed to move off quite calmly.

The car was later found burnt out in Severn Street in the East of the city.


Deep mourning for LVF victim

by Laura Friel

It was the evening rush hour, but the traffic stopped. There was torrential rain but hundreds of people came. Neighbours, friends, old and young stood outside the West Belfast home of Terry Enright.

It was an act of solidarity; many people came to demonstrate their support for the family. It was an expression of mourning; grief-stricken teenagers wept as they spoke. It was a manifestation of collective outrage. A community united in grief, yes, but also united in a determination to challenge the sectarian toll exacted by loyalists attempting to thwart political change.

``We are a dignified people,'' said Fr Des Wilson addressing the crowd, ``we will be a free people no matter who stands in the way of our freedom. We are not a fearful people, we are an angry people. Those who have persecuted our families and friends will be brought to justice. Any political settlement which does not provide for this is not worth anything.''

David Andrews, Dublin Foreign Affairs Minister, took time out from the Stormont talks to offer condolences at the Enright family's home. He stood with the family as they listened to tributes from many young people acknowledging the ``unselfish work carried out by Terry for both sides of the community''. In a celebration of Terry's life, personal tributes were followed by popular songs. Mark Kerr of Newhill Youth Club said his memories of Terry ``will help me for the rest of my life.'' Marty Maguire called for an end to sectarian division. Jacqueline Hughes sang `You are the light of my life'.

Terry Enright is survived by his wife Deirdre, daughters Ciara (5) and Aoife (1) and father Terry, a well known campaigner on green issues in Belfast, his mother Mary and brothers Liam, Niall and Feargal.


Emotional funeral

By Laura Friel

In the bright winter sunshine of a bitter January afternoon, thousands of people gathered to attend the funeral of Terry Enright. Hours before the funeral was scheduled to proceed from the family's Whiterock Road home, hundreds of local people lined the mile long route to the Holy Trinity Chapel in Turf Lodge.

If there was a single aspect which marked the proceedings, it was the unprecedented attendance by young people. Teenagers carrying home-made banners and placards, stood at the roadside. Newhill Youth Club, Corpus Christi, Ballymurphy, ``kids from the Bullring'' were amongst the many youth groups represented.

Led by a lone piper, the cortege was preceded by members of Gort Na Mona camogie team. Dressed in their distinctive red/navy and yellow stripped uniform, the girls carried a floral tribute reading ``A True Gael''.

The coffin, draped in the sport club's colours was accompanied by members of the Gaelic football team. At the chapel, local priest Fr Matt Wallace told mourners Terry Enright had been murdered ``because he was a nationalist and a Catholic, there can be no other reason at this moment in time.'' The evil men involved in this murder, said Fr Wallace, ``deprived us of an irreplaceable husband, father, son, brother, friend and colleague but they can't destroy the good Terry has done.''

When Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams was interviewed by the media just hours after the killing, he set the tone. ``This young man was a valued member of this community. He was married to a niece of mine, but that should not be used as an excuse for killing him.''

An unprecedented number of sympathy notices appeared in the Irish News. The message was clear. The shameless way the media responded to the murder of Seamus Dillon and Edmund Treanor, would not be tolerated again. On the eve of the funeral, as hundreds of people stood in silent tribute, the message was also clear. The sectarian killing of Catholics will not be accepted as inevitable any longer.

Sectarian killings are not acts of revenge, they are not tragic accidents, victims simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. Sectarian killings are the bloody expression of a supremacist elite determined to protect its privilege. Thousands of people attended Terry Enright's funeral, to mourn, yes, but also to register their anger. Northern nationalists have been ghettoised, curfewed and terrorised by loyalist intransigence for far too long.


An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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