Belfast Telegraph

Claire Bowes in Late Late Show appearance to remember Gay Byrne interview months after Omagh bomb

Claire Bowes appearing on the Late Late Show aged 36
Claire Bowes appearing on the Late Late Show aged 36

Claire Bowes has spoken of meeting Gay Byrne on the Late Late Show just months after she was blinded in the Omagh Bomb atrocity.

Appearing on a special edition of the programme to mark the death of the former presenter, she said she was overwhelmed by the interview, which took place when she was just 15.

"I just remember it being a very surreal night and very emotional," she said on Tuesday.

"After I was interviewed I just cried all the way through the rest of the programme because it was just so real and so emotional and the devastation that had been caused and the lives that have been affected."

On the programme in 1998, Mrs Bowes (née Gallagher) told Mr Byrne the last thing she saw before the bomb went off was her friends.

She told him she'd had four operations and that there was 'no hope' of her sight returning.

Claire Bowes (née Gallagher)

Presenter Ryan Tubridy said the Omagh bombing was one of the social issues that affected the late Mr Byrne most deeply.

Viewers were shown snippets of interviews with Bob Geldof, Mary McAleese and fellow survivor Donna-Marie McGillion.

29 people were killed in the bombing, including a mother nine months pregnant with twins and more than 200 people were injured, some blinded or maimed for life.

Now 36 and married with three children, Mrs Bowes said Gay Byrne presented her with gifts including a special demo tape.

"I remember talking to him on the night and him presenting me with a demo tape of She's Electric which was given to me by Noel Gallagher. It completely blew me away and I wasn't expecting it at all.

"He said he was giving them to me on the condition that I keep up my music, I was playing the piano at the time. I now have my own music academy in Omagh"

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