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Courts: Theresa Villiers in Omagh hearing privacy call

By Alan Erwin

Published 18/04/2015

Secretary of State Theresa Villiers
Secretary of State Theresa Villiers

The British Government is to seek to have some intelligence gathered on the Omagh bombing assessed in private, the High Court heard.

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers plans to apply to have a closed material procedure form part of a challenge to her refusal to hold a public inquiry into the atrocity, a judge was told.

Confirmation of the move came as lawyers for the father of a young man killed in the Real IRA attack accused the authorities of "massively dragging their heels".

Michael Gallagher has mounted a legal action in a bid to force the government to order a full inquiry.

His son Aiden was among 29 people killed in the August 1998 outrage. No one has ever been convicted of the murders. In September 2013, Ms Villiers rejected calls for a public investigation, deciding instead that a probe by Police Ombudsman Michael Maguire was the best way to address any outstanding issues.

Last October Dr Maguire published a report where he found RUC Special Branch withheld some intelligence information in the hunt for the bombers.

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