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Families hold interfaith service to mark 20-year anniversary of Omagh bombing

The Real IRA car bomb killed 29 people and two unborn children.

PastedImage-28531 The family of Julie Ann Hughes at today's service. Source: PA Images

SURVIVORS AND FAMILIES of those killed in the Omagh bombing have held an emotional inter-denominational service to mark 20 years since the atrocity.

The Real IRA car bomb killed 29 people and two unborn children when it exploded in the Tyrone town on Saturday 15 August 1998.

Today’s remembrance service was held at the Memorial Gardens in the town with Health Minister Simon Harris representing the Irish government.

The service included contributions from the Catholic, Presbyterian, Church of Ireland and Methodist churches.

PastedImage-79206 A floral tribute and card to Oran Doherty. Source: PA Images

The Omagh bombing was the biggest lost of life from a single incident during the 30 years of The Troubles.

The bombing was carried out by dissident republicans four months after the Good Friday Agreement was signed.

PastedImage-90540Omagh bomb survivors Donna Marie McGillion and husband Gary McGillion.Source: PA Images

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Nobody has ever been found to be criminally responsible for the bombing, but in a civil action taken by some of the families, Michael McKevitt and Liam Campbell were ordered to pay substantial damages.

Speaking to Sky News today, Michael Gallagher who lost his only son Aiden in the bomb, said each person affected deals with their grief differently.

Grief is a very personal thing, we all deal with it in different ways, even within the same families, so I certainly wouldn't tell anyone how to manage their grief. But over that period I think you do learn to deal with it.

Families organising today's service said it would be the last such annual memorial on this scale.

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Rónán Duffy

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