FAMILIES of some Omagh bomb victims are to boycott an official commemoration of the 1998 atrocity in protest at what they feel is a slur on the memories of their loved ones.Twenty nine people and two unborn children were killed when a Real IRA car bomb exploded on Market Street in Omagh town center on August 15 in 1998.It was the single worst atrocity of the Troubles, killing Catholics and Protestants, and men, women and children, including three young boys on holiday from Spain.Throughout the last decade the Omagh families have had to endure a series of crushing blows, with allegations of involvement of informers in the bombing and claims that police on both sides of the border had been given prior warnings of the attack.Police Ombuds-man Nuala O'Loan subsequently raised major concerns about the original RUC investigation of the atrocity. No one has ever been convicted of the bomb.However, efforts to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Omagh bomb have been thrown into turmoil, with some victims families warning that they will not take part in the event.In a series of damaging blows it has now emerged that three victims' families have refused permission for their loved ones' names to be inscribed on a new memorial to commemorate those killed in the massacre.Last week it was revealed that church leaders in the Co. Tyrone town had refused to take part in a commemoration ceremony organized by the Omagh families, choosing instead to take part in a commemoration organized by the town council.Michael Gallagher, whose son Aiden was killed in the 1998 bomb, said he was shocked at the clergy's refusal to attend the families' event."Some of these clergy buried our loved ones," he said. "We can't believe they aren't coming."The church leaders later released a statement saying that clergy would attend the families' commemoration but also called on the families to attend the official event.It is understood that up to a dozen Omagh families will not attend the council event in protest at the wording on a memorial erected to mark the 10th anniversary.Kevin Skelton, whose wife, Philomena, was killed in the bombing, said, "There's a whole range of issues I've got problems with."The whole wording issue and some of the politicians that are going to be there. I think the council have made a real mess of it altogether."
Moving to Ireland
After living in Ireland for almost one year, this is what I’ve learned