Ivy Lambert
Image caption Ivy Lambert’s son Adam was shot dead in a case of mistaken identity in 1987, the day after the Enniskillen bombing

The mother of a County Tyrone man shot dead during the Troubles in a case of mistaken identity, has said she bears no bitterness towards those responsible for her son’s death.

Adam Lambert was 19 when he was shot dead on 9 November 1987 – a day after the Enniskillen bomb exploded.

The murder was intended to be a revenge attack on a Catholic but Mr Lambert, a Protestant, was killed instead.

His mother, Ivy Lambert, said: “Time is a great healer”.

Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster’s Sunday News programme, Mrs Lambert, 85, recalled the moment she received the news that her youngest son had been murdered.

Image caption No-one has ever been convicted of Adam Lambert’s murder


“It’s hard now to put it into words, we were just absolutely devastated,” she said.

“At the beginning, Adam’s father Brian wouldn’t even mention Adam’s name – it was only towards the end of his life he even began to mention Adam.

“People tell you time isn’t a healer but I think it is – the pain gets softer as the years go on.”

“Maybe Adam had done all the things he had to do – he accomplished as much in 20 years as many people would do in a lifetime.”

No-one has ever been convicted over the death of Adam Lambert, but 30 years on, Mrs Lambert says she has learned to live with that fact.

Image caption Adam as a baby with his mum, Ivy Lambert

“People should draw a line under the past. I know everyone isn’t the same, some can, some can’t, and I feel for those who are much worse off than me, in great pain,” she explained.

“The way I look at it is – that’s the way it was to be, we had to pick ourselves up and get going for the sake of the others in the family.

“I don’t think of Adam’s killers at all, they don’t mean anything to me. I’m not bitter in any way.

“I wouldn’t go as far as forgiving them, it’s not for me to – they’d have to ask for forgiveness first, they haven’t don’t that, but it doesn’t hurt the family in the least.”

‘Perfect child’

Mrs Lambert also spoke of her memories of raising Adam, who has three surviving siblings – his sister Jill, and brothers Owen and Ross.

“I remember him coming back on Friday nights from university with his barber jacket on, his rugby bag in his hand, coming through the patio doors,” she said.

Image caption Adam has three surviving siblings

“I often had a bacon and egg quiche for him, that was his favourite tea.

“He was a perfect child – where we argued with the rest and disagreed with them, never Adam, and I’m not just saying it because he’s gone – he was a lovely fellow.”

Mrs Lambert explained she dealt with the grief of losing her son by having “a good faith”, and hopes that she will someday see Adam again.

Her husband, Brian, passed away a couple of years ago.

“I hope Adam’s in spirit with his dad, and that I will see him again, I hope that,” she said.

Image copyright BBCF
Image caption Adam Lambert was 19 years old when he was murdered

Ivy Lambert is one of many people in Northern Ireland who has had to learn to live with loss, but she says although she has had many things in life to be happy about, she does often wonder what Adam would be like if he was still alive.

“Would I have more grandchildren – would he be married?,” she said.

“I still remember him as a young 19 year old. I look at the other three kids and think, ‘What would Adam be like?’

“He’s still that very young fellow, coming home from college and looking a million dollars, that’s the way I’ll always picture him.”

You can hear this interview in full on The Sunday News on BBC Radio Ulster on Sunday 12 November and afterwards on the BBC iPlayer.


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