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Friday, 18 August, 2000, 21:13 GMT 22:13 UK
Omagh relatives mount protest
Omagh relatives protest outside dissident event
Protesters expressed anger over dissident fundraiser
Relatives of 29 people killed in the Omagh bombing have mounted a protest outside the west Belfast venue of a fundraising night for dissident republicans.

About 16 protesters carrying placards bearing pictures of those killed in the 1998 atrocity carried out by the Real IRA were outside Brennans bar in Hannahstown when the event got underway on Friday night.

Organisers of what was described on the internet as a night of "craic agus ceol" (Irish for fun and music) said the event was to raise funds for republicans still imprisoned.

Prominent New York republican Martin Galvin, who is a supporter of the 32 County Souvereignty Committee, a group with links to the Real IRA, was due to speak at the event.

A spokesman for the protesters made a statement in which they said the families of those killed in Omagh still had to endure "constant suffering".

James Barker: Bomb victim's parents were among protesters
"It is shameful that at a public house tonight, members of the 32 County Sovereignty Committee/Real IRA will, in the words of their own advertisement for the event, be having craic agus ceol.

"There has been little singing in the homes of the relatives of the 29 victims and the many maimed and injured since the 32 County Sovereignty Movement/Real IRA exploded a massive car bomb following misleading warnings in Omagh town centre."

The spokesman also called on the British and Irish governments to increase efforts to bring those responsible for the bombing to justice.

Their statement said it was a "shame" that the group supporting the Real IRA could continue to organise such events and hold bank accounts.

"All people committed to democracy and peace in Ireland should be prepared to stand against them.

"We will, as a result of tonight's events, be starting that debate and stand against this evil organisation."

The second anniversary of the bombing in the County Tyrone town was marked with a simple ceremony in a memorial garden to the victims of the atrocity.

See also:

31 Jul 00 | N Ireland
22 Jun 00 | N Ireland
25 Jul 00 | N Ireland
21 Apr 00 | N Ireland
17 Apr 00 | N Ireland
20 Apr 00 | N Ireland
13 Apr 00 | N Ireland
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