20/12/2001

Sinn Féin to discuss Omagh report with Police Ombudsman

Sinn Féin MP for West Tyrone Pat Doherty is to meet with the Police Ombudsman on Friday.

The meeting with Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan has been called in order to discuss the findings of her report in which she criticised the RUC handling of the investigation into the 1998 Real IRA bombing.

Speaking on Thursday, December 20, Mr Doherty said: “Last week Nuala O’Loan delivered a damning indictment of the RUC Special Branch and the RUC Chief Ronnie Flanagan. To date the RUC have failed to address the substance of the Police Ombudsman’s report. Sinn Féin support the call made by the families of those killed in Omagh for a fully independent inquiry into the events of that terrible day.

“As MP for the area I look forward to meeting with the Ombudsman and raising directly with her the very damning revelations contained in her report.”

Meanwhile, the SDLP has held a series of talks with the Ombudsman and the Chief Constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan. A delegation, including Alex Attwood, Patricia Lewsley, Joe Byrne and Alban Maginness met with the Chief Constable and Mrs O’Loan on Wednesday.

Speaking after the meeting Mrs Lewsley said: “The meeting with the Police Ombudsman was constructive and the subsequent meeting with the Chief Constable was tough and robust. This meeting confirmed our confidence in the Omagh report and our conviction that the six recommendations made by the Ombudsman should be implemented immediately and exhaustively.

“This is a key moment for the future of policing in Northern Ireland. For the first time we have seen the new policing institutions and in particular the Police Ombudsman, call to account the police in an unprecedented and open manner. Because of this process of accountability, there is an opportunity to get things right. The SDLP inside and outside the policing board, will work through the Ombudsman’s recommendations and with those who endorse the recommendations to get things right.” (AMcE)

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