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Families pledge Omagh case fight

Campaigning families of Omagh bomb victims are preparing for a courtroom showdown with the Government after it rejected their demand for a public inquiry into the Real IRA attack.

Relatives challenged the UK authorities to "stop hiding from the truth" over alleged intelligence and investigative failings they claim allowed the bombers to perpetrate the 1998 atrocity, and get away with it.

They made a defiant pledge to take judicial review proceedings against Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers after she ruled out a probe. Ms Villiers said she did not believe there were sufficient grounds to justify a state-commissioned independent inquiry.

The dissident republican attack which killed 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins, and injured hundreds more was one of the worst atrocities of the Northern Ireland troubles and inflicted the greatest loss of life in a single terrorist incident.

With the bomb having been allegedly transported to the Co Tyrone town from the Republic of Ireland, bereaved families have called for a cross-border inquiry involving both the London and Dublin governments.

Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny said his Government was still considering a report the families had compiled on the alleged state failures north and south.

Stanley McCombe, whose wife Ann, 45, was killed, said the anger he felt at the British Government's decision would drive him onward as the families proceeded with legal action.

He said: "If they want to try and hide the truth about Omagh, they can. But we'll flush them out at the end of the day. There are no hiding places. It's a democratic country and people have to know the truth."

Michael Gallagher, whose 21-year-old son Aiden was among the victims of the August 1998 blast, added: "We'll do our talking in court."

But not all the Omagh bomb families want an inquiry, with some claiming the exercise would re-traumatise the bereaved.


From Belfast Telegraph