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Thursday, 13 April, 2000, 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK
Adams meets Omagh families
Omagh bombing
The perpetrators of the bomb are still at large
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has met with relatives of victims of the Omagh bombing.

They met in the County Tyrone town on Thursday morning.

Afterwards Mr Adams said he wanted to reflect on what he had been told.

Sinn Fein has repeatedly refused to co-operate with the investigation into the atrocity, because of the involvement of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

Thursday's talks come just days after relatives of those who died in the bombing announced plans to pursue the killers through the international courts.

Twenty nine people were killed and hundreds injured when the Real IRA bomb ripped through Omagh on 15 August 1998.

Reluctance to meet Adams

The meeting was arranged after one of the relatives, Lawrence Rushe, met Gerry Adams briefly in Dublin at the weekend.

Speaking after the talks, Mr Rusche said: "We discussed the atrocity in Omagh.
Lawrence Rushe
Lawrence Rushe: hard to be face to face with Adams

"We discussed the perpetrators of this and how they might be brought to justice.

"There was a great reluctance, in actual fact, to meet with Gerry Adams, for various reasons from grief to dislike of his policies."

After the meeting, Mr Adams said he wanted time to reflect.

"Obviously my sympathy and the sympathy of Sinn Fein is with the victims and the families of Omagh.

"I've listened very intently to what has been said and I want to go off and reflect on that.

"I really have nothing to add to that at this time."

International courts

On Monday the Omagh Support and Self-Help Group announced they would take their case to the international courts.

They believe the explosion breached international law, as well as the Geneva Convention.

They hope the international forum could help republicans give evidence.

Speaking on Monday, Victor Barker, the father of 12-year-old victim James Barker, had said the republican movement should help catch the perpetrators.

"If Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness really are men of peace, why can't they come forward and ensure that information is given to bring these people to justice?

"I think it's time Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness put history behind them and started looking forward to the future."

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See also:

10 Apr 00 | Northern Ireland
Omagh families head to international courts
15 Feb 00 | Northern Ireland
Plea to PM over bomb atrocity
13 Mar 00 | Northern Ireland
Omagh bombers 'may never be tried'
16 Aug 98 | Latest News
Who are the 'Real IRA?'
18 Mar 99 | Focus
Omagh bomb claims 29th victim
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