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Thursday, November 12, 1998 Published at 15:13 GMT


Omagh honoured for courage

The Omagh bomb killed 29 people

The Red Cross has honoured the people of Omagh - the Northern Ireland town bombed earlier this year - with a special award.

In a break with tradition, the Red Cross made the award to each of Omagh's 20,000 citizens in recognition of their courage and compassion.

The blast on 15 August killed 29 people and injured more than 200 others. The Real IRA said it carried out the attack.

Generous and humane

John McKinney, from Omagh's District Council, who was among those who collected the award in London, said: "We've always known the generosity of the people of Omagh.

"But I think since the 15th August we've seen the humanity of people and their capacity to care and I think that's very important."

Mr McKinney said the tragedy was still very close to people's minds, but many are looking to the future.

He added: "The effects of the bomb are very visible and the fact that the buildings are still in disarray and that you see people with disabilities as a result of it.

"People can't get away from it. But people are starting to pick up the pieces."

Bravery and care

The honour was the first of its kind to be presented to a community as part of the Red Cross's annual awards scheme.

During the ceremony, 16 winners from across the UK picked up awards for individual acts of bravery and care.

[ image: Peter Mills saved a man on a railway line]
Peter Mills saved a man on a railway line
Among them was Peter Mills who risked his life by stopping two trains in order to rescue a man who had fallen onto a railway track.

He said: "I managed to slow down the first one, then I glanced to my right and saw the Eurostar into London was coming. I managed to stop that one by waving a blanket."

Diana, Countess of Lindsay, saved the life of her five-year-old son David when he nearly drowned during a family holiday.

"I shook him because he was completely blue and there was absolutely no response," she said.

"I immediately started to do mouth-to mouth. He didn't respond for a while but I just kept going."

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