Tuesday 28 March 2017

Artist paints a dark picture over Omagh

An artist who designed a memorial garden to the victims of the Omagh Bombing believes that rogue elements of the security forces may have been involved.

Talking to The Diary this week, Sean Hillen, who won an international competition to create a 'Garden of Light' in the town, said this was based on his own research into the Real IRA attack.

"Without a doubt, there were rogue elements of the security forces involved. It's all very suspicious. There have been textbooks written on colonial wars, which outline how you take over the opposition, make them do atrocities, and then they get the blame," said Hillen.

This is why the local artist said he backed victims' families in their calls for a fresh inquiry.

"There are a lot of unanswered questions about why no one was ever successfully prosecuted. We need answers," said Hillen, who was commissioned by Omagh District Council to design the garden, which opened in August 2008.

A major career retrospective of Hillen's work, ReViewed, runs at the Copper House Gallery, Synge Street, Dublin 2, from February 8 until March 2, 2012.

Morgan's bloomin'

Congratulations to Cork singer Morgan Deane and husband, South African cricket captain Graham Smith, who announced they were expecting their first child. The couple married at a private wedding in in South Africa last year.

Oh Lordi! It's a monster act

You'd expect Jedward to be the most 'way out' act on The Late Late Show Eurosong special this February 24.

Not so, I can reveal, as RTÉ are in talks to have Lordi make a special appearance.

You might remember the Finnish heavy metal group who wore monster masks for their Eurovision win in 2006 -- Finland's first.

Good thing Brian Kennedy isn't on the show.

He was Ireland's representative that year, singing the non-monster ballad 'Every Song Is A Cry For Love', which came 10th.

Red-hot debut to conquer all?

Hotly tipped new Dublin band Red Empire launch their debut EP at Crawdaddy on February 18.

The three-track sampler is available to download from iTunes from next Thursday.

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