Belfast Telegraph

PSNI Chief Constable apologises over Omagh commemoration no-show

Chief Constable George Hamilton has apologised to the families of those killed in the Omagh bomb over the PSNI's non-attendance at a commemoration event.

The event at the Omagh bomb memorial took place last Sunday and it is understood that it was the first time in the 19 years since the attack that the PSNI had not been represented.

Speaking to the Belfast News Letter Micheal Gallagher, whose son Aiden was among the 29 killed, said that it was a "great regret" that the PSNI had not attended the event.

He also said that he hoped the non-attendance by the PSNI was not down to the legal action that has been launched by relatives of Omagh bomb victims against Chief Constable George Hamilton.

As part of the action the families are seeking damages for what they claim were failings in the investigation that allowed the killers to escape justice.

In his statement, Chief Constable George Hamilton said: "I have the utmost respect for the Omagh families and would never seek to cause offence or be dismissive of their grief and pain and if the PSNI’s non-attendance at the event seems disrespectful, I apologise for that.

"It is unfortunate that there appears to have been some confusion around invitations. I can confirm that local district police have received formal invitations to the event in the past but no formal invitation was received this year. I can also confirm that other stakeholders within government did receive a formal invitation this year.

"PSNI not being represented at the event is not connected with, or in response to, the writ issued against me by Mr Gallagher and some of the Omagh families. That matter will be dealt with in due course through legal process."

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