Belfast Telegraph

Tributes to campaigner Godfrey Wilson who lost daughter at Omagh bombing

Godfrey Wilson holding a picture of his daughter Lorraine
Godfrey Wilson holding a picture of his daughter Lorraine
Godfrey Wilson with his wife Ann
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

Tributes have been paid to the father of an Omagh bomb victim and campaigner who died on Sunday.

Godfrey Wilson's daughter Lorraine was just 15 when she was killed in the 1998 atrocity.

Devastated by the loss, Mr Wilson campaigned for years to get justice for his daughter and other victims.

He was also a founding member of the Omagh Support and Self Help Group.

Aged 61, Mr Wilson's health had declined in recent years after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

His funeral was held in Cappagh Parish Church on Wednesday.

Attending was close friend Stanley McCombe, who lost his wife Ann in the Real IRA atrocity.

He said it saddened him that Mr Wilson would never see justice for Lorraine, and that he would be badly missed by his family and friends.

"Godfrey was one of these people that didn't hold back, whatever he had to say he said it. I admire him for that," he said.

"Even through all his illness, we remained friends. He was a great guy in the British Legion as well.

"The thing I remember is that you could be having a very serious conversation, but he could always come out with something witty and make you laugh."

He described the funeral service as "heart-wrenching" for Mr Wilson's family.

"His son Garry paid a very good tribute to him. He lives in Australia but thankfully he was able to get over two weeks ago to be with him," he said.

He added: "You would never see Godfrey without his wife Ann as well, she'll sorely miss him."

Regarding the loss of Mr Wilson's daughter, he said: "It was a big void in his life, anyone would suffer from a loss like that.

"Right up until he took ill, he was a good campaigner for justice for his daughter and the other people affected."

In recent years Mr Wilson relied on Mr McCombe for updates on the Omagh case.

"Godfrey was like the rest of us," he said.

"He wasn't happy with the way things went, we got a court judgment but that's all we got.

"The man has gone to his grave now not knowing the outcome.

"It makes me sad that 20 years have passed and he never got justice for the murder of his daughter.

"At least we're still here to fight and he was a big part of that."

A family notice described Mr Wilson as the dearly loved husband of Ann, devoted father of Denise, Garry, Colin and the late Gavin and Lorraine, father-in-law of Stephen and Lesley and a much-loved grandfather of Lucy, James, Sam and Sophie.

On August 15 this year hundreds of people gathered in Omagh to mark exactly 20 years since the Real IRA bomb ripped through the busy market town, killing 29 people and two unborn babies.

To date no one has ever been convicted of the bombing despite a massive police investigation.

The Government has refused calls to hold a public inquiry, but this has been subject to a legal challenge which has currently been pushed back until February next year.

Belfast Telegraph


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