Relatives seek review of UK decision on Omagh inquiry
Families say reasons given by Northern Secretary Theresa Villers for not holding inquiry are ‘trivial’
The families said last month that if necessary they were prepared to go to the courts to try to compel the British and Irish governments to hold and inquiry.
Former Northern Ireland police ombudsman Dame Nuala O’Loan, who while in office carried out her own investigation into the bombing, and former Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner and counter terrorism chief Bob Quick have publicly backed the call for an inquiry.
Amnesty International has also added its voice to demands for a full independent inquiry.
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Michael Gallagher, whose son Aiden (21) was among the victims, condemned the decision, describing the reasons given by Ms Villiers for ruling out a public inquiry as “trivial”.
He told Sky News: “Should we be denied truth and justice because other people don’t want it?” Referring to his belief that the bomb attack could have been prevented, he said: “The reality is that Aiden need not have died.”
He added: “Both the British and Irish governments failed to protect the human rights of those people.” And he said that victims’ families would be mounting a legal challenge to the decision by Ms Villiers.
Mr Gallagher said he was “disappointed but not surprised” by the decision. “I think it’s important to note that this is a government who are actually holding other governments to account over human rights abuses,” he said.
“Last week they wanted permissions from Parliament to go to war, or to launch attacks on Syria. Over a year ago we gave this Government a report which showed that state agencies had failed and 31 people had died and 250 were injured unnecessarily.”
While no one has been criminally convicted of the crime, four republicans were found liable for the atrocity in a civil case taken by some of the bereaved relatives and ordered to pay £1.6 million in compensation.
Last month families of some of the victims outlined details of an independent report they commissioned into alleged intelligence failings on both sides of the border in the lead up to the atrocity and with the subsequent criminal investigations.
Additional reporting: PA