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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 12 December, 2001, 18:23 GMT
Omagh report at-a-glance
The Omagh bomb killed 29 people
The police deny they were warned about Omagh
A damning report into the Omagh bomb atrocity has accused top ranking police of failing the 29 people killed and their families.

Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan said senior members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, now the Police Service of Northern Ireland, were defensive and uncooperative.

PSNI Chief Constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan is considering legal action on a "personal and organisational basis" to have the report quashed.

The main findings of Ms O'Loan's report were:

  • Police had two prior warnings - on 4 and 12 August 1998 - about plans to attack Omagh

  • The judgement and leadership of the Chief Constable and Assistant Chief Constable was "seriously flawed"

  • As a result the chances of detaining and convicting the Omagh bombers was "significantly reduced"

  • "The victims, their families, the people of Omagh and officers of the RUC were let down by defective leadership, poor judgement and a lack of urgency"

  • Special Branch officers failed to pass on information warning of threatened dissident Republican attacks, including one in Omagh on the day of the bomb
    The devastation in Omagh town centre

  • Around two months after the attack substantial resources were removed from the investigation and staff cut back

  • A new team of police officers from outside Northern Ireland should be set up to investigate the bombing

  • The role and function of Special Branch should be reviewed to ensure there is a flow of information with other parts of the Police Service of Northern Ireland

  • All relevant intelligence should be passed to senior investigators in the Omagh bomb inquiry

  • A review of terrorist-linked murder inquiries should be carried out, looking at the lines of communication and sharing of information

  • It is unclear whether the bombing would have been prevented if RUC had taken more action over all information received between 4 and 15 August
 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Kevin Connelly
"It will never be known if the attack could have been prevented if information had been acted upon"
Click here for the full special report

Ombudsman report

Bomb trial verdict

Archive - the blast:

PANORAMA
See also:

07 Dec 01 | N Ireland
06 Dec 01 | N Ireland
07 Dec 01 | N Ireland
12 Dec 01 | N Ireland
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