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Monday 18 December 2017

Omagh remembers attack victims

Steven McCaffery

Families bereaved by the infamous Omagh bombing gathered in the town yesterday to mark its anniversary, amid fears dissident republicans may cause a similar atrocity.

At an event to mark the 12th anniversary of the attack, where a dissident Real IRA car bomb killed 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins, there were renewed calls for an end to violence.

Michael Gallagher, whose son Aiden was killed in the 1998 bomb, said: "It is just unbelievable that these people will continue to plant bombs in close proximity to where people live and shop and work.

"That makes days like this all the more difficult."

Minister of State for Overseas Development Peter Power and Northern Ireland Office Minister Hugo Swire attended the remembrance ceremony at the memorial garden in the town.

Prayers were read in various languages, including Spanish, in memory of the victims of that country killed in the blast.

Mr Swire said: "I was very pleased to be asked and very pleased to come here today, 12 years after this appalling atrocity which for many people is still alive in their memories."


Asked whether a full inquiry into the Omagh bombing would be carried out, he said: "The secretary of state and I will be meeting with the families for the first time, since we became the government, towards the end of September. And I think that will be the place for us to have proper talks with them."

The single biggest loss of life of the Troubles forced the dissidents to scale down their deadly activities, but there are fears republican groups opposed to the peace process are risking a disaster on the same scale.

Irish Independent

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