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Omagh bomb: 'Blunders allowed the men who killed my son to escape' says Michael Gallagher

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Michael Gallagher who lost his son in the Omagh bomb

Michael Gallagher who lost his son in the Omagh bomb

Aiden Gallagher died in the Omagh bomb blast

Aiden Gallagher died in the Omagh bomb blast

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Michael Gallagher who lost his son in the Omagh bomb

The mass-murderers behind the Omagh atrocity were allowed to escape due to police blunders, the father of one victim has said.

Michael Gallagher, whose son Aiden (21) was killed in the 1998 massacre, told the Belfast Telegraph he welcomed the report, but said it did not go far enough.

He reiterated calls for a public inquiry to be held, a request rejected by Secretary of State Theresa Villiers last year.

"This again reinforced what we have known for a long number of years but now have it in writing that there were significant failings in the early investigation which allowed the criminals to escape justice," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"The intelligence services really didn't play the part they should have played.

"What we were told publicly by the Prime Minister, the US President, the Taoiseach... all rings very hollow when they were allowed to escape."

The Police Ombudsman met with Mr Gallagher and other victims' families yesterday morning to provide them with copies of his findings.

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Mr Gallagher said: "There is value in this report but it certainly doesn't go anywhere near answering all the questions that we have posed.

"These questions need to be answered from a variety of agencies which the Ombudsman's Office has no power over."

Mr Gallagher said the families were deeply frustrated at police delays in identifying suspects.

And he said the ball was now in the court of Ms Villiers.

"The police don't come out of it well," he said. "We've asked the Secretary of State for a full public inquiry.

"She said the Police Ombudsman would answer all outstanding questions.

"It's quite clear he has far from answered all the outstanding questions. He can't answer all the questions because they involve other agencies.

"It's looking at a very narrow window. We have issues leading up to Omagh, the intelligence which was available, many issues.

"This report is another narrow-focused report which hasn't delivered all the answers for the families.

"For me it's an important day because now we can move forward and we will carry on and press for the full public inquiry."


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