Belfast Telegraph

Omagh alert was 'cruel reminder of massacre'

By Cate McCurry

The father of an Omagh bomb victim has said that yesterday's mass evacuation of the town is a "cruel reminder" of the 1998 massacre.

In scenes reminiscent of the atrocity which killed 29 people, Omagh town centre was left deserted as businesses, shoppers, and students were caught up in the security alert linked to the PSNI recruitment event due to take place today.

Michael Gallagher, whose son was killed in the Omagh bombing, said an evacuation of this scale has not been seen since that horrific day. "It's absolutely shocking that these people can disrupt the whole province. They represent a small amount of people yet they have the ability to bring almost the province to a halt," he said.

Long delays spread across the town on a busy Friday afternoon as police closed off most parts of Omagh. The alert is centred around the Strule Arts Centre where the recruitment information day is to take place.

Mr Gallagher added that his grandchildren were sent home from Omagh Integrated Primary School - a mile-and-a-half from the security alert.

Omagh bus depot was also evacuated leaving thousands of pupils facing long delays on their return home from school while the courthouse had to suspend court proceedings including family and criminal matters.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph