FAMILIES of Omagh bomb victims are to take the British and Irish governments to court because of a refusal to hold a public inquiry into the attack.
Relatives had issued a warning to the authorities in London and Dublin when they outlined details of a report they commissioned into alleged intelligence failings on both sides of the border in the lead up to the 1998 Real IRA atrocity and with the subsequent criminal investigations.
Families representing some of the bereaved had set last Thursday for definitive word on the public inquiry. It coincided with the 15th anniversary of the atrocity in which 31 people were killed.
Michael Gallagher of the Omagh Support and Self Help Group (OSSHG) said they would now be launching a judicial review into the government’s failure to make a decision on holding the inquiry.
“The government have failed to make a decision on the inquiry despite having been given every opportunity to do so over the past year,” he said.
“It’s stated that the hope is to reach a decision soon. The question has to be asked as to how long soon is. Is it three weeks, three months, a year? They should at least give us a decision, even a negative one.”
On Thursday relatives published a small part of the report collated for them by London-based security experts, insisting the remainder was too sensitive for public consumption.
One of the most significant sections, the families claims, are files of 4,000 emails detailing communication between an FBI agent, who had infiltrated the Real IRA at the time of the bombing.
Relatives contend that the messages identify Omagh as a potential target and even give a time of attack.