Report into Omagh bomb imminent

Report into Omagh bomb imminent

A Police Ombudsman report into the 1998 Omagh bombing will be published imminently, it has been revealed.

The Real IRA attack killed 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins, when a car bomb exploded among shoppers on a busy Saturday afternoon 16 years ago in the Co Tyrone town.Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire's review of how security force intelligence was disseminated is complete and a report is being compiled.On Sunday, relatives of those killed in the massive car bomb explosion 15 August 1998, gathered on Sunday for a service of remembrance at the memorial garden in the Co Tyrone town.The Ombudsman's office, which independently investigates police work, launched an inquiry after a report by a group of MPs outlined remaining questions surrounding the bombing.Four years ago, the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee called for a new investigation into whether intelligence relating to those suspected of the bombing was passed on to detectives investigating it.The committee also concluded that questions remain about whether the bombing could have been pre-empted by action against terrorists who carried out earlier bombings in 1998.It also sought a definitive statement on whether the names of those thought to have been involved in the bombing were known to the intelligence services, police special branch or the wider RUC in the days immediately after the bombing and if so, why no arrests resulted.In 2001 former Ombudsman Dame Nuala O'Loan carried out a report on Omagh into the police's handling of warnings received from an informer.She concluded they would not have been enough to stop the bombing but check points could have been erected around the town if police had reacted to a separate anonymous caller about a planned gun attack.No one has ever been convicted of murder at Omagh, but in April 43-year-old Seamus Daly, from Culloville, Co Monaghan, was arrested and charged with the murders.Previously relatives of some of the victims brought a landmark civil action against five men they claimed were responsible.Four of the five men were ordered to pay more than £1.5m in damages to the victims' families in a civil case.Families will go to the High Court next month in a bid to overturn the Secretary of State's decision not to hold a public inquiry into the bombing.


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