Omagh bombing: 25th anniversary marked
The victims and survivors of the Omagh bomb atrocity were remembered on Sunday afternoon at a Service of Reflection and Prayer at the town’s Memorial Garden, a short distance from where a car bomb exploded almost a quarter of a century ago, killing 31 people, including unborn twins.
The service was organised jointly by Omagh Churches’ Forum, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, and family and support organisations in the local community. Among the dignitaries who attended were the Northern Ireland Office minister Lord Caine, the Republic’s Minister of State for European Affairs, Peter Burke, and the former Police Ombudsman, Baroness O’Loan (who headed the Omagh Bomb Inquiry).
Clergy from the four main Christian denominations took part in the service, which was led by the joint chairmen of the Omagh Churches’ Forum, the Church of Ireland’s Rural Dean for Omagh, the Rev Canon Robert Clarke, and Drumragh Parish Priest, Fr Eugene Hasson.
There was a touching passage during the Service when the Lord’s Prayer was recited in three different languages — English, Irish and Spanish. A young Spanish woman, Rocio Abad Ramos, and her 12 year old compatriot, Fernando Blasco Baselga, were among those murdered in the explosion.
During the service, Canon Clarke paid tribute to the late Fr Kevin Mullan, who had been a great support to the bereaved at the time of the bombing and had subsequently been a stalwart of the Churches’ Forum. Fr Mullan died earlier this year.
The Omagh bombing led to the greatest loss of life in a single incident in the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’.
Another Service, this time a private one for relatives and others affected by the bombing, will be held in Omagh Library on Tuesday 15th August — the 25th anniversary explosion. In Buncrana, meanwhile, people will gather at Knockalla Park on Tuesday afternoon for public prayers to remember local children who died in the blast and the other victims of the atrocity.