Omagh will not be intimidated, victim’s father says after rescheduled remembrance service

The rescheduled Omagh Remembrance Day ceremony took place at the towns cenotaph on Sunday morning
The rescheduled Omagh Remembrance Day ceremony took place at the towns cenotaph on Sunday morning

A man who lost his son in the Omagh bombing has welcomed the “solidarity” shown at a wreath-laying ceremony today, rescheduled after an attack on Remembrance Sunday.

Michael Gallagher, whose 21-year-old son Aiden was one of those killed in the 1998 bombing, said the people of Omagh “will not be intimidated by violence”.

The wreath-laying ceremony had to be postponed following a security alert in Omagh on Remembrance Sunday.

The PSNI revealed after the alert that a “viable device” had been uncovered, and that a “strong line of inquiry” was that dissident republicans were responsible.

PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton described the bomb attack last weekend as “sickening and appalling”.

The rearranged wreath-laying took place at 11am.

Michael Gallagher was one of those to lay a wreath.

He said he was heartened by the large turnout at the rescheduled remembrance ceremony.

“Everything went very well and it (the bomb attack on Remembrance Sunday) didn’t deter people from coming to the cenotaph,” he said.

“It was probably bigger than ever we’ve had before in Omagh.

“Everybody seemed to agree that it was an important thing to do this morning. For over 30 years people’s lives were dictated by terrorism and I think we have moved on from that. We are not going to allow that small number of people to bring us back to those dark days. That’s not going to happen.”

He added: “Of course we were there to remember those people who gave their lives so that we can say and do what we want to do, and that is an important reason to go to the cenotaph.

“The message was strong and clear. Omagh will not be deterred, we will not go back to the dark days, and we will not be intimidated by violence, wherever that violence comes from.”

Richard Scott, chairman of the Royal British Legion’s Omagh branch, said it was important to show that “we cannot be cowered”.