Gordon Wilson biography

Gordon Wilson

Politician, Deceased Person

1925 – 1995


Who was Gordon Wilson?

Gordon Wilson was an Irish draper in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, who became known as a peace campaigner during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. On 8 November 1987 a bomb planted by the Provisional IRA exploded during Enniskillen's Remembrance Day parade injuring Wilson and fatally injuring his daughter, Marie, a nurse. The bomb was planted in a nearby building and nobody knew if it was timed or detonated. An emotional television interview he gave to the BBC only hours after the bombing brought him to national and international prominence as he described his last conversation with his dying daughter as they both lay buried in rubble.

Wilson's response to the bombing, "I bear no ill will. I bear no grudge", was reported worldwide becoming among the most-remembered quotations from The Troubles. Whereas many IRA attacks in Northern Ireland usually resulted in reprisals by loyalists, Wilson's calls for forgiveness and reconciliation came to be called the Spirit of Enniskillen.

As a peace campaigner, Wilson held many meetings with members of Sinn Féin. He also met once with representatives of the Provisional IRA. Wilson sought to understand the reasons for the Remembrance Day bombing in Enniskillen. He also held talks with loyalist paramilitaries in an attempt to persuade them to abandon violence.


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"Gordon Wilson." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 23 Apr. 2021. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/gordon_wilson_1927>.

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Sep 25, 1925
  • Wesley College, Dublin
Lived in
  • County Leitrim
Jun 27, 1995

on July 23, 2013

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