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Mattie McGrath

Published 12 months ago 29th August 2021 by Editor

TD calls on Taoiseach to sanction a full-scale Irish government public enquiry into the 1998 Omagh Bomb

Speaking on the 23rd anniversary of the bombing, the Leader of the Rural Independent Group and staunch campaigner for justice for the victims’, Deputy Mattie McGrath, stated:

“Last month, Mr Justice Horner delivered his judgement at the High Court in Belfast, which found that there was a ‘real prospect’ that the 15th of August 1998 Omagh bombing could have been prevented. This is a highly significant ruling.”

“This ruling in and of itself indicates a deep failing by both the Irish and British government to have averted the Real IRA atrocity, which killed 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins and injured hundreds more.”

“Mr Justice Horner’s ruling has recommended that investigations compliant with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) are now carried out on both sides of the border.”

The Omagh Bomb Memorial Garden, which remembers the victims of the 1998 atrocity

“I have steadfastly supported the victims’ relatives over many years for a full public inquiry into the circumstances around the bombing. Despite assurances from the former Taoiseach, nothing has been done, representing a shameful betrayal.” “The Omagh bombing was the worst single atrocity of the Troubles; yet, in 2013, the British government also refused to meet the demands for a public enquiry. The campaigners, led by Michael Gallagher who lost his 21-year-old son Aiden in the attack, subsequently launched a legal action seeking a judicial review of the government’s decision.”

“While that case ended two years ago, Mr Justice Horner only delivered his verdict last month.”

“His finding points to the real prospect of preventing the Omagh bombing from occurring, due to the intelligence available to both the Gardai and the Police.”

“Based on the findings of this High Court ruling, I am now calling on the Taoiseach to approve an investigation into those allegations under Article 2 of the European Court of Human Rights.”

“Any investigation must involve the scrutiny of both open and closed material that was available at the time. Equally, I am calling on the Taoiseach to press for an early, similar type investigation North of the border.”

“The Irish government cannot continue to bury their heads in the sand any longer in respect of this issue. A proactive and urgent approach is long overdue.”

“The Taoiseach must move on this issue without delay, as there are now serious issues around the preventability of the bombing to be fully investigated.”

“It would be utterly cruel for the Irish government to prolong the suffering that the victims’ families have endured. These people and the public deserve to know the truth. A full public enquiry is the only way of delivering this,” concluded Deputy Mc Grath.

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