The relationship between the Omagh Support and Self-Help Group and Omagh District Council has never been great. Not least since the Council decided to remove the simple memorial to those killed and injured in the Omagh bombing in 1998, put in place by the support group, in order to replace it with the Council’s bright shiny alternative – along with less “contentious wording”. The memorial garden is now due to be officially dedicated during a remembrance service organised by Omagh District Council on 15 August, the 10th anniversary of the bombing, but some of the families involved in the Omagh Support Group will not be attending, preferring instead to hold their own memorial event next Sunday – as they have done in previous years. Church leaders in Omagh have, however, rejected an invitation to the Support Group’s Sunday memorial event and have said that they will only attend the Council’s official service.
Reverend John Murdoch, from the Presbyterian Church in Omagh, said he and the other church leaders had agreed unanimously that it was more appropriate for them to attend the council event. “We decided that we would support the main event on the Friday,” he said. “That is the official one, the one on the Sunday is not official.”
Update 12 August. Church leaders perform u-turn.