Just before 11am on the day of the Remembrance Day parade in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, a large Provisional IRA bomb exploded in the town centre, killing 11 people and injuring more then 60. This blunder was another stepping stone to the Provisional abandonment of the armed struggle; as Gerry Adams claimed another atrocity would undermine the value and integrity of the armed movement.
Initial press reporting claimed that the attack was purely sectarian, but later the IRA admitted it had been targeting the British colour guard marching in the memorial parade. Either way, it is unforgivable and badly planned. It had to be obvious to those involved that civilians would be killed and severely hurt in this action, but on it went. 10 civilians and an RUC reservist lay dead, all Protestants.
The fact that amateur film of the bombing was published is just fuel to the flames of the fury of the Protestant community and world opinion. Innocent people died and the press had film of it, all fingers pointed at the Provisional IRA.
At this time, the Anglo-Irish Agreement had been drafted for over two years, and secret talks between Gerry Adams and the British had been ongoing. Gerry was forced to denounce the bombing in public statements and try to save face for the Provisional Mov't. Regardless, communities forced the Stoops to refute their support for Sinn Fein council members and Provo public opinion took a huge hit.
Loyalists intent on retaliation were stopped by the words of victims' families. They wanted no retribution for the murders. And none would be immediately taken by the loyalist paramilitaries.