Monday 18 December 2017

Omagh families to press for UK inquiry

David Young and Adrian Rutherford

Campaigning families of Omagh bomb victims are preparing for a courtroom showdown with the British government after it rejected their demand for a public inquiry into the Real IRA attack.

Relatives challenged UK authorities to "stop hiding from the truth" over alleged intelligence and investigative failings that they claim allowed the bombers to perpetrate the 1998 atrocity and get away with it.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Irish Government is still examining the claims made in a report that the authorities had prior knowledge of the attack.

Yesterday, angry relatives of the victims pledged to take the legal action after Northern Ireand Secretary Theresa Villiers said she did not believe there were sufficient grounds to justify a state-commissioned independent probe.

She said a current investigation into elements of the incident by the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman was the best way to proceed.

Twenty-nine people, including a woman pregnant with twins, died and hundreds more were injured when a Real IRA car bomb exploded in the Co Tyrone market town on August 15, 1998.

Michael Gallagher, whose son Aidan died in the bombing, pledged to take judicial review proceedings to force the British and Irish governments to hold an inquiry.

"A public inquiry is the only vehicle we see that can get the answers we need to get," he said.

Irish Independent

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