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Omagh Inquiry: Families Vow To Fight On
Relatives of some victims killed in the Omagh bombing have vowed to fight on after the Government ruled out a public inquiry.
The 1998 attack in Co Tyrone was one of the worst atrocities in the Northern Ireland conflict and inflicted the greatest loss of life in a single terrorist incident.
There have been long-standing allegations that intelligence and investigative failures by authorities on both sides of the border allowed the bombers to both carry out the crime and get away with it.
Some relatives of the victims had called for an all-Ireland probe into whether more could have been done to prevent it.
But Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers said she did not believe there were sufficient grounds to justify a state commissioned independent probe into the Real IRA bombing, which killed 29 people.
"This was not an easy decision to make and all views were carefully considered," she said.
"I believe that the ongoing investigation by the office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland is the best way to address any outstanding issues relating to the police investigation."
Michael Gallagher, whose son Aidan died in the bombing, told Sky News he was "absolutely disappointed, but not surprised".
"We gave both governments a document over a year ago that shows that both the British and Irish governments could have done something to prevent the Omagh bomb," he said.
"Those people didn't need to die and yet here we have the Secretary of State saying we cannot have a public inquiry."
Mr Gallagher claimed the reasons given for the refusal were "trivial" and he said relatives would immediately start pursuing a judicial review.
"We have the result now - it's not the result we wanted, but at least we can move forward. We can go to the courts and that's exactly what we will do," he said in Belfast.
He insisted a full, public judicial inquiry with the power to compel witnesses to attend was required - pointing out that the police ombudsman does not have that ability.
But other survivors and the families of victims were against a full inquiry. Kevin Skelton, whose wife Philomena was killed, opposed it because his children felt their mother should be able to rest in peace.
"We know the answers. I know there were dirty deeds done round Omagh and the Government, whether there is a public inquiry or not, they are going to bury them, and they have the power to do that," he said.
Former Northern Ireland police ombudsman Dame Nuala O'Loan, ex-counter terrorism chief Bob Quick and Amnesty International have all publicly backed the call for an inquiry.
Shadow Northern Ireland secretary Vernon Coaker said he hoped the police ombudsman probe could give the families some answers.