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2007 News
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SEAN HOEY FOUND NOT GUILTY
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Thu 20 December 2007
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Sean Hoey was found not guilty of murdering 29 people killed in the Omagh bombing.He was also cleared of all other charges linked to a series of bombs and murder attacks in Northern Ireland in the run-up to 15th August 1998.

The victims families feel that the only way forward now is a full cross border public enquiry to reveal the truth of what happened in Omagh.
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OMAGH BOMB TRIAL VERDICT
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Tue 18 December 2007
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The judge in the Omagh bomb trial is due to deliver his verdict on Thursday 20th December 2007. The victims families will travel to Belfast Crown Court to hear the verdict.

Sean Hoey, 38, from Jonesborough, County Armagh, has denied a total of 56 charges, including the murders of 29 people killed in the August 1998 Omagh bomb atrocity.

His trial at Belfast Crown Court before Mr Justice Weir lasted for 56 days and ended in January 2007.
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Chairman of Omagh Support and Self Help Group attended an International Conference on Overcoming Extremism in Washington DC
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Wed 14 November 2007
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Michael Gallagher the Chairman of Omagh Support and Self Help Group (Omagh Bomb Victims Group) travelled to Washington DC to talk at a major international Conference on Overcoming Extremism: Protecting Civilians from Terrorist Violence. This two day conference took place on the 22nd and 23rd of October and is part of the Post-Conflict Reconstruction (PCR) project at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

The Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) was launched at the height of the Cold War, dedicated to finding ways for America to survive as a nation and prosper as a people. CSIS has grown to become one of the nation's and the world's pre-eminent public policy institutions on U.S. and international security. CSIS seeks to advance global security and prosperity and serves as a strategic planning partner for the American government by conducting research and analysis and developing policy initiatives that look into the future and anticipate change.

The Conference featured panels of world-renowned scholars, civil society leaders, journalists, government and military officials and legal experts. The Conference aimed to develop a shared international agenda for protecting civilians, who are increasingly the targets of terrorist violence.

Mr Gallagher was delighted to be asked to attend the conference to share his experiences of terrorism in the UK and Ireland and learned from many of the eminent experts attending the conference from around the world. Mr Gallagher spoke on the second day of the conference on his experiences.

To watch Mr Gallaghers talk on his experiences, click on the following link: http://www.overcomingextremism.org/video12.htm
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Consul General of United States sends message of support
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Sun 12 August 2007
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Many Americans reflect with profound sadness on the unspeakable tragedy that took place in Omagh town centre on a busy Saturday in 1998. The Omagh bombing represented the sheer futility of violence in Northern Ireland while reinforcing the sense of urgency for a political settlement.
Over the coming days, people across the United States will be remembering the victims of the Omagh bombing and the hardships faced by their families over the last nine years. Amid the sorrow, they will be heartened that many in Northern Ireland have responded with a desire to build a shared future free from violence, sectarianism, and division.
We pay tribute to the Omagh Support and Self Help Group for their organization of this interdenominational service and also for their wider support toward those who have been deeply affected by the atrocity.
Dean Pittman, Consul General
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SUPPORT GROUP HOST ANNUAL SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE
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Tue 07 August 2007
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The families of the Omagh Bomb Victims will host this year's annual service of remembrance in the Memorial Garden on Sunday the 12th August, at 3.00pm.

The ninth annual service organised by the Omagh Support and Self Help Group for the fourth year will be an inter-denominational service of music, verse and prayer.

Following the success of last year's personal service this year's is designed to provide comfort to the bereaved, injured and traumatized families while being uplifting in nature.

We are delighted to have representatives from the British, Irish and Spanish Governments attending the service this year. Consul General of Spain, Dr Valdes, Senior Official Political Director Chris Maccabe from the Northern Ireland Office and Minister of State Mr Sean Power T.D. from the Irish Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

As always we will be expressing our sympathies with the many victims of terrorist related atrocities throughout the world.

We invite and welcome everyone to come along and join us on the 12th August to remember and honour all those who died and those who are still suffering.


For any further information please contact:
Donna McCauley 8225 9877 or
Michael Gallagher 8224 4920 / 07759360603
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OMAGH FAMILY WITHDRAW FROM CIVIL ACTION
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Fri 29 June 2007
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Half of the families involved in a multi-million pound civil action against alleged Real IRA leaders accused of involvement in the Omagh bombing have withdrawn from the case.

The set back comes as legal sources say that it is unlikely that a verdict will be delivered this week in the criminal trial of Sean Hoey, the only man charged with the Omagh bombing until September 2007.

Relatives of Esther Gibson (36) who was among those killed joined the civil action suing real IRA leaders Michael McKevitt, Seamus Daly, Liam Campbell, Colm Murphy and Seamus McKenna in 2001. However proceedings did not open until January 2005 and since then have been dogged by delay. The trial is not expected to begin properly until January 2008 at its earliest.

In the High court in Belfast the Gibson family announced that they were withdrawing from the action as it was causing unnecessary stress and are concerned that all relevant have conspired to prevent this matter ever getting to trial.

Michael Gallagher Chairman of OSSHG stated that families are becoming increasingly frustrated at legal delays and it is very hard for the families to cope.
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Omagh families meet the First Minister of Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Dr Ian Paisley MP MLA.
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Mon 11 June 2007
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Members of Omagh Support and Self Help Group will travel to Stormont today, Monday 11th June 2007 to meet with the First Minister Rt Hon Dr Ian Paisley. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the families' quest for a Public Enquiry and also the Omagh Memorial.

The DUP has already given their support for full cross border public enquiry and last month the Deputy First Minister Martin Mc Guinness supported the families who were speaking out and rallying for a full, independent international investigation of the actual bombing and the police investigation of it.

It is important that Omagh Support and Self Help Group talk to as many influential people as possible to ensure that everyone is aware of the situation and to prevent any misunderstanding.
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SINN FEIN BACKS A FULL INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO OMAGH ATTACK
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Thu 17 May 2007
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The controversial Omagh bomb investigation may be brought to the forefront of the new Policing Boards attention by Sinn Feins incoming members.

Martin Mc Guinness said he supported the Omagh bomb victim families who were speaking out and rallying for a full, independent international investigation of the actual bombing and the police investigation of it.

Martin Mc Guinness stated that, in his view, there are serious questions to be asked about the Omagh bomb investigation. Nobody knows more about what happened than (the PSNI), and there is a very strong argument for an international, independent investigation into the Omagh bomb investigation and the actual bomb explosion itself. Republicans would be only too glad to co-operate because we think the PSNI have questions to answer. There is a very strong belief within Irish Republicanism that the PSNI not alone failed to investigate the Omagh bomb properly, but the RUC actually knew about the bomb before it took place.
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MEMBERS OF OSSHG TO MEET SPANISH AMBASSADOR
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Mon 23 April 2007
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Omagh Support and Self Help Group will meet with the Spanish Ambassador to the United Kingdom, his Excellency Carlos Miranda y Elio on Tuesday 24 April 2007. The meeting will take place during the Ambassadors visit to Omagh District Council offices.

Members of OSSHG hope to discuss the unnecessary delay in erecting a memorial and also the wording to be placed on the memorial. The inscription proposed by the families was submitted at the beginning of last year. It was to read:

'To honour and remember 31 people murdered and hundreds injured, from three nations, by a dissident republican terrorist car bomb.'

Members of the group also hope to discuss existing memorial garden and the proposals for its expansion and also their plans for a cross border public enquiry which is supported by the Irish Human Rights Commission and Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.
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OMAGH SUPPORT AND SELF HELP GROUP LAUNCH THEIR DIGITAL ARCHIVE
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Fri 06 April 2007
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Omagh Support and Self Help Group (OSSHG) launched their Digital Archive on Wednesday 4th April 2007 at Omagh College. The site was unveiled by Deric Henderson from the Press Association of Ireland and Paul Clark from UTV Live at 6 programme.

Over 70 guests attended the launch, among them were families of victims of the Omagh Bomb, representatives from victims groups, RTE, the Department of Foreign Affairs, statutory organisations and historian and prize-winning biographer Ruth Dudley Edwards.

Members of Parliment sent personal messages congratulating OSSHG on their achievement. David Lidington, Opposition Secretary of State, spoke of the groups efforts to secure justice.

I want to express my support for this initiative by the Omagh families he said. They have suffered so much, yet are determined to seek not only justice but also reconciliation between the divided communities of Northern Ireland.
Their courage, steadfastness and generosity of spirit is an example to us all he continued.

County Down-born Lembit Opik, the prominent member of the Liberal Democrats' said, this online archive will no doubt prove to be a valuable resource to all those who wish to learn about the tragedy of the Omagh bombing and I hope that it can be used to promote further reconciliation in Northern Ireland and further afield.
However, the most passionate message of support came from the Conservatives' Shadow NI Laurence Robertson, who interrupted a California trip to voice his admiration and empathy for the families.
I was in the Republic of Ireland the day the bomb went off at Omagh and I was in Dundalk the day after he revealed. There was widespread horror in the areas I visited during that week and I have since visited Omagh and stood on the spot the bomb went off.
I have looked into the period running up to the day the bomb went off in terms of security, policing and intelligence and can understand the deep sense of hurt and confusion felt by those who lost loved ones at Omagh on that terrible day
He continued, The Omagh families deserve justice. And they deserve clarifications. And the people who were murdered deserve remembering.
The greatest possible tribute to them would be the securing of a permanent peace. Even if that is achieved, however, the victims must never be forgotten, and I hope that this project will ensure that they will be remembered forever.

The aim of the launch was to not only to raise public awareness of the Archive but to recognise the achievement of victim's families, volunteers and members of OSSHG. The archive is based on the collection newspaper article, video and audio recordings relating to not only the Omagh Bombing but other global terrorist atrocities housed in Omagh Support and Self Help Group offices. Material is being researched and added to the Archive on a daily basis, at present online visitors can access over 5000 articles.

It is the hope of OSSHG that the archive will be utilised as an educational tool which will support understanding and learning in order to support continued Peace and Reconciliation. Michael Gallagher Chairman of OSSHG stated that:

The media has an important role to play in raising public awareness of important issues, our archive of media material will provide information about the Omagh Bomb and other global atrocities to victims and families, researchers and academics, the local community and world wide.

Money received from the Awards for All Lottery Fund has enabled OSSHG to officially launch the Digital Archive. Many of the guests had the opportunity to browse through the site and offer their views after the launch. The evening was a great success and enjoyed by all.
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OMAGH SUPPORT AND SELF HELP GROUP WILL LAUNCH THE DIGITAL ARCHIVE
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Mon 02 April 2007
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Omagh Support and Self Help Group (OSSHG) will unveil their Digital Archive on Wednesday 4th April 2007. Paul Clarke from UTV and Deric Henderson from the Press Association will be among many of the guests attending the launch.

The site is based on the archive collection housed in Omagh Support and Self Help Group offices. In November 2004 members of OSSHG with the help of Volunteers, students and financial support from Omagh Local Strategy Partnership embarked upon the task of creating an accessible on-line archive.

Online visitors can access over 5000 newspaper articles, video and audio recordings relating to information on the events leading up to and following the Omagh bombing and other global terrorist atrocities.

It is the hope of OSSHG that the archive will be utilised as an educational tool which will support understanding and learning in order to support continued Peace and Reconciliation. Information about the Omagh Bomb and other global atrocities will be accessible to victims and families, researchers and academics, the local community and world wide.

Money received from the Awards for All Lottery Fund has enabled OSSHG to officially launch the Digital Archive in Omagh College Lecture Theatre, this project has involved the wide community and anyone interested is more than welcome to attend.
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OMAGH BOMB VICTIMS GROUP WELCOME THE LATEST MEDIA APPEALS FOR INFORMATION BY THE P.S.N.I.
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Mon 12 March 2007
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Omagh Bomb victims group welcome the latest media appeals for information by the P.S.N.I.
We call on all right thinking people to come forward and share any knowledge they may have about events before or after the Omagh bomb with the P.S.N.I./Garda or any responsible person in the community.
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OMAGH BOMB VICTIMS GROUP CHAIRMAN TRAVELS TO SPAIN FOR 3RD ANNIVERSARY
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Fri 09 March 2007
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Michael Gallagher Omagh bomb victims group Chairman will travel to Madrid this weekend to speak at a number of events on Saturday and Sunday the 10th & 11th of March to remember the 198 people who died and hundreds injured in the train bombs three years ago. The European Parliament has designated the 11th of March as a day of remembrance for all victims of terrorism in Europe.
Mr. Gallagher said it is a privilege to stand with the Spanish victims this weekend in Madrid and said he is looking forward to the time when we can acknowledge this day in our own Country, especially as we have suffered more from terrorism than any other European Country.
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HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION MEET OSSHG
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Fri 19 January 2007
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The President of the Irish Human Rights Commission, Dr. Maurice Manning, and the Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Monica McWilliams, met with representatives of the Omagh Support and Self Help Group in connection with the bombing in August 1988 of Omagh town centre and related matters on 18th January 2007.

The two commissions are jointly requesting the British and Irish Governments to establish a Cory style review into the Omagh bombing and surrounding events. Specifically the two commissions propose that a serving or retired judge of international standing should examine all available material. They further recommend that the purpose of such a review will be to determine whether it is appropriate to institute a North South inquiry into the atrocity.
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Bridge Centre| 5A Holmview Avenue | Omagh | Co. Tyrone | BT79 0AQ
Tel: 028 8225 9877 | Fax: 028 8225 9877
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