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‘Real prospect’ of Omagh bombing could have been avoided, judge says | UK News

There was a “real prospect” that the Omagh bombing could have been avoided, a judge ruled.

In delivering his judgment at the High Court in Belfast, Judge Horner also urged the UK and Irish governments to investigate the August 1998 atrocity.

It is necessary to examine whether a more “proactive” security approach against dissident Republican terrorists in the run-up to the bombing could have prevented it, he said.

Directed by the Real IRA, it was the worst event of the unrest in Northern Ireland. A pregnant woman carrying twins was among 29 people killed in the city, 68 miles west of Belfast.

The judge was responding to a judicial review filed eight years ago by Michael Gallagher, whose son Aiden was killed in the blast.

Mr Gallagher took action in response to the UK government’s refusal to order a public inquiry into the security breaches before the bombing.

“I am convinced that certain grounds, taken separately or together, give rise to plausible allegations that there was a real prospect of preventing the Omagh bombing,” the judge said.

“These grounds involve, among other things, the recognition of terrorist activities on both sides of the border by prominent dissident terrorist Republicans prior to the Omagh bombing.

“I am therefore satisfied that the threshold under Article 2 ECHR (European Convention on Human Rights) to require an investigation into these allegations has been reached.”

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This notice was published: 2021-07-23 10:32:00

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