Pipe bomb disrupts remembrance ceremony in Omagh

Police describes those responsible as ‘cowards’ determined ‘to create fear’

Drumragh Avenue, Omagh. Close to where the bomb scare took place. Photograph: Google Maps

Drumragh Avenue, Omagh. Close to where the bomb scare took place. Photograph: Google Maps

 

A viable pipe bomb was discovered close to a war memorial in Omagh before a Remembrance Sunday parade took place, police have confirmed.

The march was diverted and the traditional wreath-laying at the Co Tyrone town’s cenotaph was postponed after the area was sealed off following the discovery of the device on Sunday.

It comes almost two decades after a dissident republican Real IRA blast killed 29 in the busy market town in 1998.

The bomb alert also came exactly 30 years after 12 people were killed by an IRA bomb in Enniskillen in Co Fermanagh.

Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster tweeted: “On a day we remember the carnage of Enniskillen 30 years ago it is disgusting that Remembrance Sunday in Omagh was disrupted by those who left a suspicious device in the town.”

Chief constable George Hamilton said: “The disruption of the Remembrance Day parade and service in Omagh this morning was just sickening, actually.

“Deeply disrespectful, hard to believe that some people are so still stuck in the past, in Omagh of all places — the trauma and the pain that town and the families of Omagh have been through.”

Mr Hamilton said: “There has been some form of interruption this morning, to people in a dignified way wanting to pay their respects and to remember those who have been sacrificed.”

One of his officers said those behind the suspected device were cowards. Chief inspector Graham Dodds said: “This is a sickening attempt by cowards to create fear and disruption on a day when many gather to pay their respects to the brave men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice, and must be unreservedly condemned.”

Local Democratic Unionist assembly member Tom Buchanan said: “It is disgusting that anyone would target a war memorial at any time, but on Remembrance Sunday it is an act of particular hatred.” - PA