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Sunday, August 15, 1999 Published at 17:56 GMT 18:56 UK


Picture gallery: Omagh remembers

A year on, the people of Omagh have been remembering the day when their community was torn part by the worst bombing in 30 years of violence in Northern Ireland.

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Twenty-nine people were killed and hundreds injured by the Real Ira bomb last August. At the anniversary memorial service was 16-year-old Una McKirk who was severely injured in the bombing and has to wear a surgical mask for 23 hours each day.

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At the exact time the bomb went off in a packed town centre on 15 August 1998, the people of Omagh stood in silence to pray.

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Thousands of people from across the political divide joined for an inter-denominational memorial service in front of the town's courthouse.

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The emotional ceremony included musical tributes including the ringing of church bells and a lament played by a piper. There was a symbolic pouring of water to represent the tears of those left behind after the tragedy.

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At the time of the bombing many people hoped it would end 30 years of violence in the province and herald peace for future generations. But the Omagh anniversary took place against a background of tension elsewhere in Northern Ireland following riots overnight in Londonderry.

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