Omagh bomb 20th anniversary: Just give us the truth, says victim's relative

Families who lost loved ones in the Omagh bomb exactly 20 years ago today still want the full truth about that day of 'evil and horror', one of them has said.

Wednesday, 15th August 2018, 10:26 am
Updated Sunday, 2nd September 2018, 10:06 pm

Michael Gallagher, whose son Aiden was killed in the Real IRA atrocity on August 15, 1998, said today would be very stressful for those whose relatives were killed.

Nobody has been found guilty of the bombing, which claimed 29 lives – including that of a woman who was pregnant with twins at the time.

An aerial view of the devastation caused in Omagh after a terrorist bomb was detonated at the junction of Market Street and Dublin Road

“Twenty years on the families still want the truth,” Mr Gallagher told the News Letter.

“It is important for people to realise that the further we are away from the last atrocity, the closer we are to the next one.

“There is no guarantee that those behind the Omagh bomb will not plant another in the future.

“The people behind it are not on ceasefire.

Victims campaigner Michael Gallagher who lost his son Aiden in the Omagh bombing

“And I believe even if there is a united Ireland tomorrow, the history of Irish republicanism shows that there will always be an underground army in the future.”

A judicial review pressing for a public inquiry into transparency on intelligence surrounding the bombers was adjourned in July after concerns about national security were raised in a closed court session.

However, Mr Gallagher added: “We are not shifting the blame from these terrorists to the police or intelligence services.”

A special service will take place today on the site of the bomb in Market Street at 3pm, involving relatives, clergy, members of the emergency services and civilians who helped the injured in the aftermath of the atrocity.

White rose petals will be handed out to all present.

“The families are facing the 20th anniversary with anticipation and anxiety,” Mr Gallagher added.

“This day will remind us all of the evil and horror that happened to us 20 years ago to the day.

“It was the worst day of our lives.”