Legion chairman: we’re not giving in after Sunday’s Omagh bomb

Chairman of the local Royal British Legion Richard Scott pictured at the scene. ''Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Chairman of the local Royal British Legion Richard Scott pictured at the scene. ''Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

The bombers who targeted a Remembrance Day service in Omagh have not succeeded in deterring acts of commemoration in the town, said a leading member of the Royal British Legion.

Richard Scott MBE, chairman of the Omagh branch of the legion, said he was angered by the alert ahead of Sunday’s event at the town’s cenotaph.

Following a security operation, a pipe bomb had been recovered from the Drumragh Avenue area of the town – on which both the cenotaph and a memorial garden to the 1998 Omagh bomb stand.

The bomb was described by chief constable George Hamilton as a “small but potentially dangerous device”.

It disrupted the proceedings for the day, but Mr Scott told the News Letter that he and his colleagues are not going to succumb to the threat.

A wreath laying service is now set to take place in Omagh this coming Sunday, with participants expected to meet at the Royal British Legion from 10am onwards.

“We are disappointed about what happened and we are angry that people would try to stop a service of remembrance in the way that they did, with a live bomb at the war memorial – especially on a Remembrance Day,” he said on Monday.

“But we were determined to have our service in the [Omagh Academy] school yesterday which we did.

“To show that we weren’t going to give in, and that will be reflected on Sunday (November 19) when we complete our journey.“

Meanwhile on Monday, police issued an appeal for drivers with dashboard cameras to aid their investigation. It called upon anyone who has such cameras and who was in the area on Saturday evening to play back the footage.

Detective Inspector Trevor Stevenson said on Monday: “We know this area of Omagh is popular on a Saturday night.

“We are appealing to any drivers who were in the area on Saturday night and have dash-cam footage, to examine it and see if they have captured any suspicious activity.

“No matter how small you think it may be, if you think it looks suspicious – or out of the ordinary – please notify police immediately because it could prove significant.”

Among those who condemned Sunday’s bomb alert was Arlene Foster, MLA for Fermanagh and South Tyrone.

Mrs Foster wrote via the web service Twitter: “On a day we remember the carnage of Enniskillen 30 years ago it is disgusting that Remembrance Sunday in Omagh was disrupted by those who left a suspicious device in the town.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police in Omagh on 101 quoting reference number 100 12/11/17.

Information can also be given anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.