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Sunday, August 23, 1998 Published at 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK

'Death carried life and peace away'

"This space within our town where all our futures were changed one week ago, is today a silent sanctuary of remembrance, sharing the silence of the inner sanctuaries of broken hearts and families."

The BBC's Ireland Correspondent Denis Murray sums up the feeling at the memorial service
Catholic priest Father Kevin Mullan chose these words as he addressed thousands of mouners gathered to remember the victims of last week's car bomb in Omagh which killed 28 and injured hundreds.

The names of the victims were read out before a minute silence was observed at 1510 BST - the exact time when the bomb went off last Saturday afternoon.

Prayers were offered for the victims, their families and for the emergency services. Prayers were also read in Spanish in memory of the Spanish children who died or were injured.

Local singer Juliet Turner sings Broken Things at the service
Juliet Turner sang a moving song inspired by Psalms 34 and 42 called 'Broken Things' written by American songwriter Julie Miller.

The crowds packed into the streets outside the courthouse maintained a respectful silence, and an air of calm and dignity remained throughout.

After the service ended, the silence was kept by the large crowd for several minutes after the final words "Let us leave our town centre today in friendship" were uttered.

'Silent sanctuary of remembrance'

[ image: Omagh Priest Father Kevin Mullan]
Omagh Priest Father Kevin Mullan
Father Kevin Mullan led the service saying the presence of so many, who had come to commemorate the victims of the bombing atrocity, formed a "silent sanctuary of remembrance".

Relatives of the victims have been joined on the steps of the town's courthouse by among others, the First Minister, David Trimble, Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams, Irish President Mary McAleese and representatives of the emergency services.

Omagh Priest Father Kevin Mullan
In his address, Father Mullan said: "It is Saturday again. It is a quarter before three in the afternoon.

"Seven days and seven nights have passed since last it was this hour on a Saturday afternoon on the streets of this town - each day and each night of those seven journeyed through in horror, pain and grief - and today will have its night and tomorrow its tomorrow.

'Our futures changed one week ago'

"At this hour last Saturday, 28 good and deeply loved people, one carrying twins awaiting birth, were alive in these streets.

"Those 200 and more whose loveliness was maimed or injured, those who now cling to life in hospital wards, were with them here as they with countless others shopped and served, talked and strolled and drove.

"Each of them, each of us, at this hour last Saturday had a future for sometime on this earth. But the future had already been brought among us.

"Evil had already possessed some human hearts and mind to do evil unto other human beings. At 10 minutes past three the future came.

"Death and life were blasted together. Death carried life and peace away."

The Lord's my Shepherd
Father Mullan said death's "bloody greed" was fought in the street and the hospital by those who loved and treasure life and dearly loved the lives for whom they fought.

"Where this High Street becomes Market Street and from there to the Dublin Road corner, this space within our town where all our futures were changed one week ago, is today a silent sanctuary of remembrance, sharing the silence of the inner sanctuaries of broken hearts and families.

"Around it, around them, may our words today be gentle as the flowers laid on Drumragh Bridge above the meeting of Omagh's rivers. May God's word through prophet Isaiah rest gently today on the meeting of our sorrowing hearts."

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