14 December 2005

Victims Commissioner meets Omagh group


13/12/2005 - 20:27:04

The North’s recently appointed Victims Commissioner today had talks with the relatives of those killed and injured in the Omagh bomb.

Bertha McDougall, who was appointed by the Government in October, travelled to the County Tyrone and spent more than an hour-and-a-half in discussion with members of the Omagh Support and Self Help Group.

Michael Gallagher, whose son was one of the 29 people killed in the Real IRA car bombing said it had been a very good and constructive meeting.

“She was very compassionate and said the meeting was one of a number she was having with victims’ groups to familiarise herself with the issue affecting victims,” he said.

Ms McDougall is no stranger to tragedy herself – she is the widow of an RUC police reservist who was murdered by the Irish National Liberation Army in 1981.

Mr Gallagher said that was a plus in her new post.

“She is a lady that has at first-hand experienced the difficulties of people who have been bereaved.”

He said they had discussed the Omagh families’ demands for a full cross-border public inquiry into the bombing, the worst single atrocity in more than 30 years of terrorist violence.

It was agreed the Commissioner would visit the Omagh group for further discussions in the New Year.

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