Relatives plan judicial review of decision not to hold inquiry
‘The information we have clearly indicates there were opportunities to prevent this bombing’
Michael Gallagher, whose son Aiden (21) was killed in the Omagh bomb attack. Photograph: PA
Some of the relatives of the victims Omagh bombing said they intend to seek a judicial review of the decision by the British government not to hold a public inquiry.
Reacting to news, Michael Gallagher, whose son Aidan was killed in the bombing said: “We can’t understand why the government aren’t giving us a full public inquiry.
“The reasons that they’ve indicated we feel are very weak and we will be going straight for a judicial review of that decision.
“We’ll be meeting our lawyers tomorrow and we’ll plot a way forward, but we’ll be moving very quickly for a judicial review of this decision.
“The information we have is voluminous, it clearly indicates that there were opportunities to prevent this bombing and we will put our evidence before the courts and let the judge decide.”
Relatives of those killed in the bombing received a letter today informing them of the government’s decision.
However, not all relatives are in favour of a public inquiry. Kevin Skelton, whose wife Philomena was among the victims, is one of those opposed.
Mr Skelton said his children were of the view that their mother should be allowed to rest in peace.
I have made my position quite clear, it’s not my decision, it’s my children’s decision and I have to back them,” he said. “But I am not standing in the way of anybody, of the other families going for what they believe in, I have never done that.
“But I am making my position quite clear and I would have other families behind me in that, who are not interested in a public inquiry because they don’t think it’s going to achieve anything.”
He told the BBC: “We know the answers. I know there were dirty deeds done round Omagh and the [British]government, whether there is a public inquiry or not, they are going to bury them, and they have the power to do that.”
Shadow Northern Ireland secretary Vernon Coaker said he hoped the Police Ombudsman investigation could provide the families with further answers.
“I have the utmost sympathy for the families of those who lost their lives in the
Omagh bombing,” he said. “I have visited the town several times and met those bereaved and injured as a result of what happened on that terrible day.
Omagh families. It makes shocking and disturbing allegations about the failure of security forces and intelligence services on both sides of the border.
“The Secretary of State has read and considered the evidence available to her, including those of previous inquiries and investigations. She will have had access to confidential and classified information that I am not privy to.”