Wednesday 13 December 2017

Shatter to meet families of Omagh bombing victims

ALAN MURRAY

Justice Minister Alan Shatter has agreed to meet relatives of the victims of the Omagh bombing.

He has written to the Omagh Support and Self Help group to arrange a meeting to receive a new report that relatives commissioned to examine events leading up to the bombing and the subsequent police investigations on both sides of the Border.

Michael Gallagher, whose son Aidan was killed in the 1998 terrorist attack, confirmed that he received a letter from Mr Shatter's office last week and is trying to arrange a suitable date for a meeting in Dublin.

"We have waited a long time to secure a meeting with the Irish Government so we are pleased that Mr Shatter has responded with a letter inviting us to contact his diary secretary," the Omagh man said yesterday.

The group wants to raise new issues outlined in the report, which were not previously made known to the families.

Mr Gallagher won't go into details but it is understood that the new report highlights the failure to provide vital intelligence information to the RUC.

The Omagh relatives have already presented a copy of the new report to Northern Ireland Secretary of State Owen Patterson.

They hope to present copies to the North's Justice Minister David Ford and the PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott at a joint meeting soon.

"We have been waiting for a long time to meet with the Irish Government to discuss the Omagh bombing, and the new report throws up particular issues relevant to the gardai," Mr Gallagher said yesterday.

The Omagh bombing killed 29 people and unborn twins in August 1998.

Sunday Independent

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