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Tuesday, 10 September, 2002, 12:27 GMT 13:27 UK
Omagh fund allocation criticised
The scene of the Omagh bomb
The Omagh bomb left 29 people dead
Relatives of some Omagh bomb victims have criticised how money from a charitable trust set up after the Real IRA atrocity has been allocated.

Almost 5m from the Omagh Fund's discretionary trust was given to the bereaved and injured, according a report from the fund trustees on Tuesday.

But 1m from a second tranche of fund money went to a Northern Ireland Centre for Trauma and Transformation to be based in Omagh.

Twenty-nine men, women and children died and hundreds were injured when the Real IRA detonated a car bomb in the County Tyrone town on 15 August 1998.

Michael Gallagher
Michael Gallagher: Critical of way funding was handed out

Michael Gallagher, of the Omagh Victims' Group, said that if such a trauma centre was required it should be paid for by the National Health Service.

He said the Omagh Fund money should be spent on something of more direct benefit to those who suffered in the bombing.

Money from the second pool of cash cannot go to individuals.

It offers tax benefits to the fund and to companies which give donations, but it has special conditions.

Mr Gallagher, who lost his son, Aidan, in the bombing, criticised the trustees of the fund for not trying to win an exemption from the conditions due to the special nature of the Omagh Fund.

However, fund chairman Sean O'Dwyer defended the decision.

"The centre will have to give us a budget annually and they will have to give us a report at the end of the year on how they have got on," he said.

"The money is strictly limited to the people who have suffered from Omagh.

"It cannot be spent on other people in Northern Ireland, as much as we might like to have done that."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Chris Capper:
"The decision to support a new trauma centre has not been welcomed by everyone"
Click here for the full special report

Ombudsman report

Bomb trial verdict

Archive - the blast:

PANORAMA
See also:

27 Aug 02 | N Ireland
23 Aug 02 | N Ireland
26 Jul 02 | N Ireland
25 Jul 02 | N Ireland
20 Feb 02 | N Ireland
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