Omagh Churches Climbdown?

Following on from Pete Baker’s blog about clergy in Omagh refusing to attend the memorial service organised by some of the Omagh bomb victims’ families. The Omagh Churches Forum have now announced that some clergy will go to the families’ service next Sunday.

  • Ashamed to be a Presbyterian

    The Omagh families should not let these clergy near their Memorial Service. They do not deserve to be called pastors they should be ashamed of themselves. I am sure in all of Omagh never mind the whole of Northern Ireland that even one clergyman could have officiated at their service shame on them all not what you would have expected from so called Christian ministers.

  • Granni Trixie

    I’ve just been listening on the radio to the young women instantly blinded in the Omagh bombing. She was inspirational but I was thinking also of those who have not got going with their lives after the bomb.

    The IRA (all kinds of…)resist calls to show remorse or apologise. I was aso wondering if humanity will kick in when they hear stories of the disruption to lives after a bomb. Even this debacle over the 10th year memorial service cries out of the hurt inflicted and to the rest of us for understanding.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    Let’s hope this means Turgon doesn’t have to start his own New Reformation Church! A victory for religious fundamentalists everywhere in these secular times. (Only messing Turgon)

  • fairy friends

    these toads pulled the offical line. Never mind that the offical line was a digusting insult to truth and humanity. It proves what these men are worth and how deeply they regrad their duties to humanity, truth and the gospel. “Lets all out for a nice dinner at the club withaour stately friends and to hell with the people.”

  • William

    I listened this morning [Tuesday 12th Aug] to the Monsignor from Omagh speaking on Radio Foyle and couldn’t believe the waffle that man spoke. Unfortunately, Enda McClafferty, the Journalist didn’t do a Noel Thompson on him and allowed him to get away with the nonsense he spouted.
    But what of Omagh Council….I attempted to insert the following in their guest book this morning and received the message:
    Your message was NOT added because there appears to be inappropriate language used. Please amend and try again.

    The ‘offending’ message from me was:
    Omagh Council should be ashamed of the manner in which they have treated the victims of the bombing in 1998. Their chosen wording on the new memorial is totally wrong….those who placed the bomb were dissidents and called themselves Republican, so why change the original wording. To have the original words in inverted commas in this new memorial, suggests that these are someone’s opinions, not a fact and Michael Gallagher and those other family members who won’t attend the Council event have my full support. Sinn Fein / IRA Councillors involvement in the creation of this glass edifice is obscene, considering the terrorist’s refusal to give information after the bombing. Is it any wonder that your Council efforts don’t have the support of all the families? The views of the families of the dead and injured should have been the only opinions taken into consideration, as was done with the memorial to the victims of the Claudy bombings of 1972.

    I have had serious discussions with two senior members of staff in Omagh Council as to what the offending words were but with some tweating of my original text, I found out for myself. What were those offending words: You’ll not believe this – it was Sinn Fein / IRA. I changed them to SF / IRA and still got the message but inserted Shinners and it passed the test and was delivered.
    What does this say about Omagh Council. Not only are they inefficient in the manner [for the past ten years] in how they have dealt with the families but now they censor what is inserted on the guest book and don’t advise what is ‘inappropriate’. They have to have an ‘advisory panel’ to concoct words for the memorial and of course the panel agree with the council and upset the families yet again. Who doesn’t remember the debacle of the ‘Omagh Fund’ and the money being given to self-appointed groups, calling themselves Trauma groups, rather than the families effected? The mind boggles and it would be really funny if it weren’t so serious.
    As to the clergy….yes, I think they should be told to stay away from the Family Remembrance day on Sunday next.

  • Delta Omega

    This was an absolutely disgraceful stance taken in the first place by the local ministers and they deserve to be reviled for it. I would agree with William that they would now be better to stay away from the service on Sunday as their attendence could cause more hurt and will only be seen as a whited sepulchre anyway.

  • appalled

    I know the Scriptures say “suffer the little children to come onto me” sadly the clergy of Omagh seem to think, that suffering is a pre requiste and it’s their job to make the families suffer again.

    It is appalling.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Perhaps there is only one thing more unseemly than people fighting over the grieving process and that is people being apparently more upset with the police over their handling of the issue than they appear to be with the people who planted the bombs.

  • susan

    Amidst our usual moveable feast of outrage and appall, there is still a time and place for simple mourning and remembrance. Those who suffered will always suffer through fresh undertows of grief, rage and remembrance as the years pass. As too many posting here know too well. Hopefully the memorials and memorial services will bring some moments of solace and of peace to those participating, however and with whomever they choose to mark the anniversary of their injury or their loss. Or losses.

    A friend sent me a poem published by Mick Grimes, who of course lost his wife, his daughter, his grand-daughter, and two unborn grandbabies on that day. It is hard to imagine a work of less pretension, or a stronger, kinder soul.

    The Fifteenth Day of August

    The fifteenth day of August,

    Nineteen ninety eight,

    Tears still sting my tired eyes

    As I recall that date.

    It was on that day of slaughter

    Our daughter Avril lost her life,

    Along with her three children

    And Mary, my dear wife.

    Many others were bereaved

    As friends and neighbours died.

    Strangers too, when told the news

    Just bowed their head and cried.

    Three children from Buncrana died,

    And two from far off Spain.

    The little twins awaiting birth,

    Were all amongst the slain.

    Some few were just teenagers,

    Whose lives were still a dream.

    And others were beloved folk,

    Good citizens, the cream.

    Hundreds more were injured,

    Some suffered dreadful pain.

    In many homes that evening

    Tears fell down like rain.

    That morning we had promise,

    Of happy days ahead

    But ere the sun had sank in the west,

    Thirty one lay dead.

    Dozens more lay injured,

    Hundreds cried with pain,

    I ask, who planned this cruel act,

    Or what did they hope to gain.

    Most who died were shoppers,

    Doing what most folks do,

    Buying some essentials,

    Or gifts for me or you.

    We had thirty years of the troubles,

    More than three thousand died.

    Many homes were torn apart,

    Too many tears were cried

    Let’s hope we’ve learned a lesson

    And at any time again,

    We’ll not be tempted to go to war

    Or to start inflicting pain.

    In this old world there is enough,

    And always some to spare

    If every man would be content

    When he has got his share,

    If we could ask all those who died

    I’ll bet all would agree

    If we choose to live in Peace

    Then it’s Love that holds the Key

    © Mick Grimes

    August 3, 2008