31/10/2007

Dunlop Moderates Omagh Bomb Inscription Row

As the unseemly row over Omagh District Council blocking the wishes of the victims' relatives by objecting to "dissident republican car bomb" appearing as part of the memorial's inscription rumbles on, a solution may be in sight.

The churchman who earlier led dialogue on parading disputes will spearhead independent efforts to resolve the row.

Former Presbyterian moderator the Rev John Dunlop will head a three-strong team including the Catholic and Quaker churches searching for appropriate wording on a shrine to the 1998 Real IRA bomb victims.

Omagh District Council commissioned the monument in time for next year’s 10th anniversary of the explosion, but won’t permit the relatives to include the disputed phrase.

Mr Dunlop said: "We were horrified by the atrocity and deeply moved by the events surrounding the bombing of the town.

"It shocked and brought tears to the eyes of people all over the world and brought messages of revulsion and support from many nations.

"We, as a team can only do what we have been asked to do with help from the bereaved or the injured and the people who were affected by the bomb."

The other members of the independent facilitation team are Father Brian Lennon, founder of Community Dialogue, and Olive Hobson, a peace-builder from the Quaker House in Belfast.

A total of 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins, were killed in the car bomb blast in the County Tyrone town’s main shopping street.

(BMcC)


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