Thursday 29 September 2016

Taoiseach vows to help Omagh bomb families find truth

Lesley-Anne McKeown

Published 06/10/2015 | 22:36

(left to right) Cat Wilkinson, Stanley McCombe and Michael Gallagher, representatives of families of the Omagh bomb victims, arrive at Government Buildings in Dublin to meet the Taoiseach Enda Kenny for the first time Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire
(left to right) Cat Wilkinson, Stanley McCombe and Michael Gallagher, representatives of families of the Omagh bomb victims, arrive at Government Buildings in Dublin to meet the Taoiseach Enda Kenny for the first time Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire
(left to right) Gerty McGlinn, Amanda McCallion, Frank Devlin, Cat Wilkinson, Stanley McCombe and Michael Gallagher, representatives of families of the Omagh bomb victims, arrive at Government Buildings in Dublin to meet the Taoiseach Enda Kenny for the first time Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire
(left to right) Frank Devlin, Gerty McGlinn, Amanda McCallion, Cat Wilkinson, Stanley McCombe, Michael Gallagher and John Fox, representatives of families of the Omagh bomb victims, arrive at Government Buildings in Dublin to meet the Taoiseach Enda Kenny for the first time Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Irish Government has promised to help Omagh bomb relatives pursue every avenue to get to the truth and ensure perpetrators are brought to justice.

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Families bereaved by the 1998 Real IRA blast met Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Dublin this evening.

They quizzed Mr Kenny on official action since they handed over a confidential report on the bombing more than three years ago.

The Taoiseach said: "We had a good and frank discussion on the issues of concern to the group in relation to the Omagh bombing.

"I assured them that the Government will continue to work with the people of Omagh to pursue every avenue to get to the truth to ensure that those who perpetrated this atrocity are brought to justice.

"I told the group that the Government would give a full response to all of the issues that they raised in the report that they submitted to the Government following the conclusion of current criminal proceedings."

Twenty-nine people, including a woman pregnant with twins, were killed and more than 200 were injured when a 500lb car bomb, planted by the Real IRA, ripped through the Co Tyrone market town in August 1998.

It was the single worst atrocity of the Troubles.

Members of the Omagh Support and Self Help Group, which represents some relatives, have been calling for a full public inquiry for 14 years. They have been backed by Amnesty International.

The families believe there was a failure to share intelligence which could have prevented the dissident republican bombing and their wide-ranging report has raised questions about police investigations on both sides of the Irish border.

Michael Gallagher, whose son Aiden died, has been campaigning for action.

He said: "We delivered a confidential report to the Irish Government on July 19, 2012. We have not really had any response to that."

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