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Tuesday, 15 February, 2000, 12:29 GMT
Plea to PM over bomb atrocity

New book remembers the Omagh atrocity The bomb ripped the heart out of Omagh


The father of an Omagh bomb victim has called on the UK prime minister to do more to help catch those responsible for the atrocity.

Omagh
James Barker was one of 29 people killed when the Real IRA bomb ripped through the County Tyrone town on 15 August 1998.

Hundreds more were injured in the explosion which took place on a busy shopping day.

James' father Victor has been in contact with UK Prime Minister Tony Blair to discuss a possible appeal for information about the bombing.

However, Mr Barker said he was disappointed with the response and believes the Irish government was more likely to back any such move.

"The possible source of information that we've had is from the taoiseach's ( Irish premier's) department.

James Barker: Bomb victim
"He seemed far more inclined to consider that, and consider the question of a reward for putting information into the public domain which will enable these people to be convicted.

"I'm much more optimistic of receiving assistance from the taoiseach's department than I am from Number 10 Downing Street."

The Omagh bombing took place four months after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

Two baby girls, five other children, 14 women and five men were among the victims.

Last October Mr Barker challenged the Compensation Agency's refusal to pay out a claim for school fees for James, which were paid before the boy died.

Civil action

Mr Barker said the civil action was not about money but to highlight the "unfair" system for compensating victim's families.

The Omagh bomb was the worst single atrocity in the history of Northern Ireland's Troubles.

The Real IRA called a ceasefire shortly after the attack, which was widely condemned on both sides of the political divide.

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See also:
13 Aug 99 |  UK
Make Omagh last tragedy mothers appeal
25 Jun 99 |  UK
Omagh bomb victim gets married
16 Aug 98 |  Latest News
Who are the 'Real IRA?'
18 Mar 99 |  Focus
Real IRA apologises for Omagh bomb
18 Mar 99 |  Focus
Omagh bomb claims 29th victim
Links to other Northern Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.


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