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Amnesty International joins calls for Omagh inquiry

Human rights watchdog Amnesty International says that questions remain unanswered over the policing and intelligence gathering around the 1998 bombing which killed 29 people.

The centre of Omagh after the car bomb which killed 29 on 15 August 1998
The centre of Omagh after the car bomb which killed 29 on 15 August 1998
Image: AP Photo/ Paul McErlane

A CROSS-BORDER investigation into the 1998 Omagh bombing will be called for today, with international human rights watchdog Amnesty International adding their voice to the campaign.

The Real IRA attack killed 29 people in the Tyrone town and, as the 15th anniversary approaches next week, families of those killed and injured, as well as a number of political figures both sides of the border, will call for a full independent public inquiry.

Former Northern Ireland police ombudsman Nuala O’Loan and former head of the Metropolitan Police anti-terror unit Bob Quick will join the  Omagh Support and Self Help Group today at a press conference in Belfast. The group will give details of a major review into all policing around the bombing.

Amnesty’s programme director for Northern Ireland, Patrick Corrigan, has said that there is a need to give bereaved families answers, as well preventing any future attacks.

Beyond addressing the families’ need for answers, there remains a broader public interest in establishing such an inquiry, in order to prevent such a tragedy recurring.

Corrigan added that questions remain over the state of intelligence gathering and sharing between state agencies such as the gardaí, the RUC and MI5.

Though many men have faced charges over the attack, none have ever been convicted.

Read: Heavy garda presence expected at funeral of Omagh suspect

Read: Man in early 20s arrested over 2007 killing of Paul Quinn in Monaghan

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