Athlone Castle Visitor Centre will mark the European Day for Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism with the opening of ‘A Tribute to Innocents’, a Memorial Quilts exhibition from the East South Fermanagh Foundation.
The European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism was established after the Madrid Bombings of March 11 2004. Each year since 2005, the European Union remembers the victims of terrorist atrocities on this date. This year to mark the day of remembrance, Athlone Arts and Tourism will open ‘A Tribute to Innocents’, a Memorial Quilts exhibition at Athlone Castle Visitor Centre in collaboration with the South East Fermanagh Foundation.
The exhibition will consist of four memorial quilts made up of patches provided by the families of the innocent victims who lost their lives at the hands of terrorists. The quilts include patches from families in the Republic of Ireland, Great Britain and Mainland Europe. Numerous families from the Midlands have lost their loved ones during the Troubles including the Kelly Family from Moate, County Westmeath.
David Kelly, who will officially open the exhibition, is a son of the Solider, Pte Patrick Kelly David Kelly, H.Q. Coy. 6th Inf. Bn. Oglaigh na hEireann, Defence Forces Ireland. Pte. Kelly was killed in the line of duty, along with Garda Gary Sheehan, by Provisional I.R.A terrorists during the search and rescue of kidnapped business executive, Don Tidey, on 16th December 1983. David is campaigning for truth, justice and accountability in relation to his father’s case, which remains a live criminal investigation.
South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF ) is a group of victims and survivors from the community of South East Fermanagh, which was formed in 1998 as a result of identified needs amongst those who have been the innocent victims of terrorism in this part of Northern Ireland, together with their families. Over the years, the Foundation has steadily grown whereby it now offers; counselling, befriending, benefits and welfare, advice services, multiple complimentary therapy treatment options, advocacy and representation-based work and a yearly educational and social activity programme, for those physically and psychologically affected by the Troubles.
Athlone Castle will display the temporary exhibition ‘A Tribute to Innocents’ from Wednesday, March 11 until to Sunday, April 5, in the lower Keep.