18 June 2012

Relatives of victims of the 1998 Omagh bombing are to meet the Northern Ireland secretary later to continue their campaign for a public inquiry.

Twenty-nine people and unborn twins died in the Real IRA atrocity.

The families say they will give Owen Paterson new evidence that authorities on both sides of the border could have prevented the bombing.

No-one has been successfully criminally convicted of the bombing which devastated the County Tyrone town.

Michael Gallagher, whose son Aidan was killed in the bombing, said they had commissioned a London legal consultancy firm to “look at all the inquiries and investigations that had taken place on both sides of the border”.


“Up to this point, we have had a number of separate investigations looking at particular areas in a piecemeal fashion,” he said.

“What this report has done is filled in the gaps and pulled everything together.

“It leaves some very significant questions to be answered, and we believe the only way to do that is a cross-border public inquiry.”

Mr Gallagher said Taoiseach Enda Kenny had not yet responded to their repeated requests for a meeting.

“We think it’s very important because some of these failings have highlighted deficiencies in the investigation south of the border,” he said.

One of the report’s authors was Martin Bridger, who led the Police Ombudsman’s investigation into whether the bombing could have been prevented.

Mr Gallagher said there were “significant questions that need to be answered”.

“We have always believed there has been enough evidence to convict the people responsible for the Omagh bomb, and we want to know why that evidence was not followed up,” he said.

The report’s findings cannot be made public because some of its contents are legally sensitive, but they are seeking permission from a judge to publish it, he added.