Irish Republican News · April 26, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Omagh families fobbed off

Families of the Omagh bomb victims have seen their demands for a full cross-border public inquiry rebuffed following a marathon two-and-a-half hour meeting with British Direct Ruler Paul Murphy.

Michael Gallagher, whose son was among the 29 men, women and children who were killed on August 15th, 1998, said such an inquiry was long overdue.

But Mr Murphy made no commitments pending ongoing investigations. “We find that a bit difficult to swallow given that we have been waiting six-and-a-half years,” said Mr Gallagher.

He said on the number of issues they raised, the Secretary of State ducked answers saying he couldn’t comment because of the ongoing investigations.

Questions about why it has taken more than six years for an “anti-terrorist” Special Branch police officer to be interviewed in a bid to trace the source of an anonymous phone call which warned of a planned attack were also rebuffed by Mr Murphy.

The officer has still not been interviewed about the call made on August 4th, 1998, 11 days before the bombing.

Mr Gallagher said they wanted to know why it had taken so long to get round to interviewing the officer. “Surely it could have been done much, much earlier in the investigation.”

Speculation has not diminished that the bombings were allowed to proceed, despite the warnings, for Britain’s own selfish military and political purposes.

He described the talks at Stormont Castle as “robust” but added: “I think we did most of the talking.” He said Mr Murphy had given assurances that he would get back to them with answers to their concerns.

“We assured him that if he didn’t we would keep coming back to him or his successor. “We are in the seventh year and not one person has been charged with murder at Omagh, north or south of the border. “The person who stole the bomb car that was used in Omagh and admitted this to Garda has not even been charged with car theft,” said Mr Gallagher.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News