Belfast Telegraph

Omagh bomb boy's mum tells of hatred for killers as she returns to town for first time in 20 years

By Jill Goligher

A mother whose son was killed in the 1998 Omagh bombing will return to the town for the first time since his death to attend a special service.

James Barker was one of the 29 victims killed in the Real IRA attack in 1998, including a woman with unborn twins.

Donna-Maria Barker, originally from Londonderry now living in England, believes she will never see justice for her 12-year-old son in her lifetime.

Despite the anguish of her memory of that day, Mrs Barker will return to Northern Ireland this weekend for a special service dedicated to "children of the Troubles."

James had been on a coach trip to Omagh when the bomb went off.

In an emotional interview with Good Morning Ulster on Friday, Mrs Baker said that her return to Omagh was "a very difficult decision" and that it is was "going to be hard."

Mrs Baker spoke of how she thinks about her son "everyday, and every night before I go to bed."

When asked what she thought of the people that planted the bomb that day, Mrs Baker replied: "I hate them. I know it's a strong word. I hate what they have done.

"I know it's sad, but I know if I lose that anger in me, I lose the fight for James."

No one has been convicted over the bombing and Mrs Baker believes the police know who was responsible.

She told the radio show: "This was vicious and they wanted to maim and kill and I hate them, what they've done to my life and my kid's life."

The mother of the 12-year old stressed: "People will say 19 years, you can go on - life doesn't go on. Other peoples' lives go on, but I have to live with it every single day of my life."

Vowing she would never return to Northern Ireland after the atrocity she stated: "It is going to be hard, painful, and I'm doing it for James, only James, not for myself."

Mrs Baker, along with her youngest son, Oliver-Tristan, will attend the Children on the Troubles service at Fivemiletown, Co Tyrone, on Sunday.

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