Minister given new report on 1998 Omagh bombing
MINISTER FOR Justice Alan Shatter has been presented with a newly commissioned report said to contain fresh information on the Omagh bombing of August 15th, 1998, in which 29 people including a woman pregnant with twins were killed.
Relatives of the victims of the Real IRA atrocity who are members of the Omagh Support and Self-Help Group presented the Minister with the report in the course of a one-hour meeting at Leinster House yesterday.
The report was commissioned from a group of London-based consultants and Michael Gallagher, whose son Aidan (21) died in the bombing. Mr Gallagher said after the meeting that the document would be brought into the public domain at the appropriate time.
“The Minister agreed we raised issues of a very serious nature that he needs to consider. We made it clear to him that the State here failed under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, just as in Northern Ireland.
“The Minister acknowledged there are some unpalatable issues that he will have to address. He stated that he may need to share this report with the Garda Commissioner,” he said. “We stressed that there may [be] individuals who he will have to interact with, who have entrenched views around some of the issues.
“We asked him as a representative of the Government to show the courage and integrity to challenge these views. We told him in our view it would be a grave mistake if there was any attempt to deal with the issues in a piecemeal way. That has been the approach for the last 14 years and the approach has failed miserably,” he added.
Mr Shatter said in a statement: “I am grateful to the Omagh group for providing me with a copy of the report and I will read and consider it fully. I have indicated to the group that I will also forward the report to the Garda Commissioner for his consideration.
“I share with the Omagh relatives and with all right-thinking people the aim of doing all we reasonably can to try to prevent any repeat of such an awful tragedy.”