Tuesday, September 29, 1998 Published at 15:04 GMT 16:04 UK
Hundreds seek bomb compensation
Hundreds were injured and bereaved, and thousands suffer from stress
The administrator of the fund for victims of the August bomb blast in Omagh says he expects as many as 700 people may claim for compensation.
"Because of the sheer magnitude of numbers who have suffered, the circumstances of the atrocity and the degree of injuries, it is quite likely the requirements are far greater in human scale than from any other disaster in these islands since 1945," said fund chairman Sean O'Dwyer.
The car bomb left 29 dead and 37 injured. At least 2,000 others have visited their doctors since the blast, many of them suffering mental stress.
Mr O'Dwyer said he expected between 450 and 700 people to benefit from the fund.
But he pointed out that because of financial limits, the fund might not be able to help the vast majority of those who had seen doctors.
The fund is expected to raise in the region of £5m. Its five trustees have pledged to keep administration costs to a miniumum and deliver help speedily.
Up to 20 volunteer advisors are to be appointed to help the fund's administrators.
Up to £2m, including £348,000 raised in a charity outing by European Ryder Cup golf star Darren Clarke, who comes from Tyrone, has already been pledged to the fund.
Several other major events, including a big concert in Belfast's Waterfront Hall on Sunday, have been planned.