*
Omagh Support And Self Help Group *
*
Banner
*
*
*
 Home  *  Latest News  *  Partnerships  *  Public Inquiry  *  Objectives  *  Gallery  *  Publications  *  Donate Online  *  Search Archives  *  Our Services  *  Contact Us  *  Links 
*
*
* * *
*
*
Latest News
*
16th Memorial Anniversary Service
Thu 07 August 2014
*
Everyone is welcome to the 16th Memorial Anniversary Service of the Omagh Bomb held in the Memorial Garden of Light on Sunday 10th August at 3pm. To remember and honour those who have suffered and those who are still suffering.
*
street collection omagh
Tue 27 May 2014
*
This Saturday 31st may 2014, we are holding a street collection in omagh town centre. We appeal to anyone who can volunteer their time to help out at this collection. please contact cat Wilkinson 028582259877. your support is greatly appreciated.
*
street collection
Sat 24 May 2014
*
on Saturday 24th may, omagh support volunteers travelled to Belfast for a street collection. we would like to thank all the generous shoppers in Belfast city centre that kindly donated to our cause and especially thanks for all the caring words of encouragement and support they gave which means a lot to our members. Also thanks to all our hardworking volunteers who stand in the rain and sunshine all year round to raise awareness and funds for omagh support. We raised 329.44,thank you again for all your support.
*
Young Ambassadors Programme 2014
Mon 12 May 2014
*
This year two of Omagh Support & Self Help Group’s (OSSHG) young members, Hannah Allerton aged 15 and Tori McCallion aged 18 participated in the Strength to Strength New York Young ambassadors program (YAP) accompanied by Sandra Patterson Committee member (OSSHG).
The Young Ambassadors Program is a week-long trip to New York City which includes meetings with political and community leaders to raise awareness for victims of terrorism and their families, touring New York City, and programming to facilitate healing.
The goal of YAP is to empower each participant in his or her healing process while having a once-in-a-lifetime experience in New York City.
The welcome they received by the Strength to Strength organisation was incredible and very humbling for both the girls and their leader Sandra. The memories and the experiences they had in New York will stay with them for many years as will the friendships and bonds they have made.
Among the many activities scheduled, the girls were treated to a VIP police escort downtown to meet with NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and received a private tour of their operations room. They had a very emotional visit to the 9/11 tribute centre with a dedicated tour by Lee Ielpi, former firefighter and founder of the centre after his son Jonathan member of FDNY squad 288 was killed. Sandra who accompanied the girls to the centre said the passion and the heartfelt warmth of both Lee and the staff at the tribute centre was moving and their empathy and encouragement with the young people was inspiring to watch. The tour involved listening to rescue services sound bites recorded in the towers before their collapse, however it was seeing the victims faces and reading their stories that really affected the young visitors, Sandra commented Seeing the thousands of pictures of those who died on the walls was very emotional for all of us, they could be your mother, father, son or daughter, it really brought it home how devastating this atrocity was. The girls also had an opportunity to meet the British Ambassador to the UN Mark Lyall Grant and ask him questions regarding truth and justice for the Omagh bomb, they also met the Spanish and Israeli Ambassador to the UN. The girls experienced many fun activities as well such as a private tour by a toy solider at FAO Schwartz, the most renowned toy store in New York and had an opportunity to play on the large floor piano made famous by Tom Hanks in the movie big. They made chocolate at the chocolate works factory, made movies at the Sony wonder center, dined in planet Hollywood and were even presented with $100 of credit to spend in a retail store downtown by its generous owner.

I cannot thank the Strength to Strength organisation enough especially its founder member Sarris Singer for the difference they have made to these young girls lives who were energised and enthused when I met them on their return to Omagh last week. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the girls to meet community leaders and other young victims and survivors of terrorism and to share their story.

The Ambassadors Programme breeds hope and inspiration among these young people who have often lost all hope and motivation through their life experiences. It builds character and shapes these young people’s outlook in the most positive and constructive way possible and it is a foundation from which these future leaders can build from. Our last year participants Megan Lindsay, Caoimhe Doherty and Harriet Vickers partook in our 15th Memorial Anniversary Ceremony and continue to be involved in youth projects within the OSSHG and have retained close connections with both the Strength to Strength organisation and previous participants. The lifespan of the project will last beyond the scope of a week as we intend to develop initiatives and projects collectively with the previous young ambassador participants.


Omagh Support & Self Help Group has been involved in this program for the last 3 years and spokesperson for the Support Group, Michael Gallagher also resides on the Strength to Strength management board which is comprised of victims and survivors of terrorism worldwide.

A Young Ambassador is a young adult, between 14 and 20 years of age, who has been directly impacted by an act of terrorism; he or she may have been injured or may have lost a parent, sibling, or close relative during an act of terrorism. Young Ambassadors come from around the globe and represent a diverse range of cultures and religions, if you wish to participate in our next programme please contact Cat Wilkinson OSSHG 82259877.
*
Remembering Petals of Hope
Wed 04 September 2013
*
Were you involved in the Petals of Hope, Rays of Light project in the autumn of 1998?
Fifteen years since the bomb, another phase of this creative process invites the original participants to return to reflect on their involvement in the Petals of Hope project. The Workers Educational Association (WEA) has received support from Omagh District Council and the Victims and Survivors Service (VSS) to offer this programme.
Participants will be lead through this experience by a creative writer, an ICT expert will assist students in the creation of the Digital Story and Carole Kane (artist) will also co-facilitate in the creation of a digital story and a book. Two sessions will be delivered by Prof John Paul Lederach whose work explores the benefits of creativity within peace building.
The sessions will take place in the Library Headquarters in Omagh and you can take part in one of two ways: attend a series of eleven Thursday evenings starting on the 19th Sept or come to a drop in session on Saturday, 19th October, Sessions aim to commence on the week of the 16th September.
*
15th Memorial Anniversary Service
Thu 22 August 2013
*
Omagh Support & Self Help Groups 15th Anniversary of the bomb was held Sunday 11th August 2013. The uplifting service honoured and remembered the victims, survivors and the wider community in a special service that will be held in the Memorial Garden of Light on Sunday 11th August 2031 at 3pm.
The inter-denominational service of uplifting prayer and music this year incorrorated the Stars of HOPE project which is delivered by New York Says Thank you foundation. This is a unique disaster relief/community art project that empowers communities devasted by natural disasters like tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes, and floods as well as man-made disasters such as mass-shootings, bombings and industrial accidents, to paint hopeful messages, inspirational words, and colorful designs on wooden stars as part of their personal, and their community’s collective, healing process.
These beautiful hand-painted stars are then planted on street corners, and attached to poles and fences throughout communities grieving. Omagh Support & Self Help Group will displayed these stars in the garden of remembrance for the anniversary service and afterwards many of the stars were transported to New York for distribution across the world.
Three young ambassadors who recently participated in the New York Strength to Strength ambassadors programme read poems that were sent from individuals all over the world immediately after the 15th August 1998. They are Megan Lindsay age 14, grandfather was RUC officer killed in a bomb attack in 1981, Caoimhe Doherty age 15, brother Oran was killed in Omagh Bomb and Harriett Vickers age 20, was 13 days old when she was in the Warrington bomb and her mother died as a result of her injuries.
Janet Devlin preformed two beautiful songs and music was also provided by Leslie Matthews and St Eugenes band.
If you would like a copy of the DVD please contact Cat Wilkinson at Omagh Support Group, they are priced at £10.
*
Press Conference
Wed 07 August 2013
*
PRESS RELEASE
30th July 2013
Omagh Support & Self Help Group is holding a press conference on
Thursday 8th August at 1pm at
Bridge Centre, 5A Holmview Avenue, Omagh.

A significant announcement regarding the families call for a full cross border public inquiry will be released. It is the 15th year since the Omagh bomb caused such devastation in our small town and yet so many questions remain unanswered.
*
15th Anniversary - Omagh Bomb
Wed 07 August 2013
*
Omagh Support & Self Help Group will this year mark the 15th Anniversary of the bomb which devastated our small town. The uplifting service will honour and remember the victims, survivors and the wider community in a special service that will be held in the Memorial Garden of Light on Sunday 11th August 2031 at 3pm.
This is an inter-denominational service and is anticipated to last no longer than 45 minutes. It will follow a similar format as in previous years, comprising of prayer, poetry and music, however as this year marks the 15th anniversary the Support Group are participating in a stars of hope project. Stars of HOPE is a unique disaster relief/community art project that empowers communities devasted by natural disasters like tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes, and floods as well as man-made disasters such as mass-shootings, bombings and industrial accidents, to paint hopeful messages, inspirational words, and colorful designs on wooden stars as part of their personal, and their community’s collective, healing process.
These beautiful hand-painted stars are then planted on street corners, and attached to poles and fences throughout communities grieving. Omagh Support & Self Help Group will display these stars in the garden of remembrance for the anniversary service of the Omagh bomb on 11th August 2013 and afterwards many of the stars will be transported to New York for distribution across the world. A number of stars will be displayed in our offices at Bridge Centre, 5A Holmview Avenue. If you would like to participate in this project please contact Cat Wilkinson at our office.
Three young ambassadors who recently participated in the New York Strength to Strength ambassadors programme will also be reading some of the poems that were sent from individuals all over the world immediately after the 15th August 1998. They are Megan Lindsay age 14, grandfather was RUC officer killed in a bomb attack in 1981, Caoimhe Doherty age 15, brother Oran was killed in Omagh Bomb and Harriett Vickers age 20, was 13 days old when she was in the Warrington bomb and her mother died as a result of her injuries.
We are delighted to have representatives from the British and Irish Governments, as well as a Shadow Minister attending the service. As always we will be expressing our sympathies with the many victims of terrorist related atrocities throughout the world.
We invite and welcome everyone to come along and join us on the 11th August to remember and honour all those who have suffered and those who are still suffering.
Omagh Support and Self Help Group would like to acknowledge the support given by the Victims and Survivors Service and Omagh District Council.
We would also like to thank Janet Devlin and the local business community for their contribution towards this 15th Memorial Service
*
Omagh Bomb Victims Meet Irish TDs
Wed 01 May 2013
*
Yesterday Omagh Bomb Victims delivered a very sensitive presentation to a number of Irish members of parliament. Outlining serious issues such as;

The Omagh bomb could have been prevented had intelligence services on both sides of the Border shared crucial information in the run-up to the atrocity, a report into the 1998 Real IRA attack has claimed.

Twenty-nine people, including a woman heavily pregnant with twins, died when a car bomb detonated in the Co Tyrone market town on August 15th, 1998. Hundreds more were injured in the bombing.

Commissioned by relatives of those killed and injured in the attack, the Omagh Bomb Report contains a number of allegations about intelligence failings on both sides of the Border. Compiled by Martin Bridger, former deputy director of investigations for the Police Ombudsman, the report was completed last May and presented to the Irish and British governments.


Nally Report
It includes a claim rejected by the 2003 Nally Report that a senior garda was aware that dissident republicans were looking for a vehicle to transport a bomb days ahead of the attack and failed to pass the information on to police in Northern Ireland. It also includes a claim that the British security services were actively monitoring key individuals linked to the atrocity on the day of the attack.

Michael Gallagher, whose son Aidan was killed in the bombing, outlined the contents of the report with Mr Bridger at a briefing for TDs and Senators in Leinster House yesterday. Mr Gallagher repeated a call for a full cross-Border independent judicial inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the attack.


Public inquiry
"To date we have not heard from either government on the report and the call for a public inquiry. We say the information contained within the report is sufficient material for a public inquiry," Mr Gallagher said.

"There’s a very strong cross-Border element to Omagh. We felt the crime should have been (subject to) a joint criminal investigation rather than two separate investigations."

Key Issues

Mr Bridger, who worked with the Metropolitan Police anti-corruption squad before going work for Nuala O’Loan in Belfast, said the terms of reference of inquiries that have taken place into the Omagh bombing to-date have been "too narrow." The latest report draws on several official reviews and reports into the atrocity. "We pulled the jigsaw puzzle together and there are certainly a lot of really crucial questions that need to be asked of both governments in a public inquiry," he said.

The report examines key issues such as whether the intelligence services were aware of Omagh as a possible target for Republican dissidents, whether police were actively aware of the bomb operation on the day of the attack and whether intelligence known before the attack could have prevented the atrocity had it been shared between agencies.
*
Success in Civil Action Retrial for Families
Tue 26 March 2013
*
Omagh Family members Michael Gallagher (left) who lost his son Aidan ,and Stanley McComb who lost his wife Ann,in the Omagh bomb attack, outside Belfast high court,after winnining their civil casse. Two republicans have been found liable for the Omagh bombing following a landmark civil action taken by relatives of some of the victims. Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly were ordered to face a retrial after they successfully appealed a finding of liability against them in the original case in Belfast High Court
*
Public Inquiry Judicial Review
Tue 26 February 2013
*
The families of victims of the worst atrocity in the Northern Ireland Troubles are launching a legal bid to force the British and Irish governments to hold a cross border inquiry into the Omagh bomb massacre.

They are planning high court applications in Belfast and Dublin to prompt the authorities into action over the Omagh bombing, in which 29 men, women and children were killed. No one has been found guilty of involvement in the 1998 bomb blast by the Real IRA.

Speaking after a meeting on Monday with the Northern Ireland secretary, Theresa Villiers, at Hillsborough Castle, County Down, Michael Gallagher whose son Aidan was killed in the attack said: We are tired of waiting for a decision. We could go on like this for the next 10, 20 years. We have been left with no choice but to go down the legal route.

Last summer copies of a confidential report, specially commissioned by the families to review all the various police investigations, were handed over to the Republics justice minister, Alan Shatter, and the then Northern Ireland secretary, Owen Paterson.

The report, carried out by security experts, claims that the RUC, Garda, MI5 and the FBI failed to share important intelligence in relation to the Real IRA during the months leading up to the atrocity.

The report also claims email evidence detailing terrorist activity in the Republic that was not shared with the authorities on the northern side of the border. This is believed to be linked to claims of two separate bomb attacks in Northern Ireland which were allegedly allowed to go ahead undetected in order to protect the identity of an informer.

Gallagher claimed the secretary of state told them she had significant insight into the issues involved, but further discussions, including talks with the Irish government, were necessary.

There was no indication from her of support for the cross-border inquiry, he said.

Gallagher said: We were able to articulate to the secretary of state the grave issues of concern that are contained in the report.

We acknowledged that many issues are likely to embarrass both governments. The public interest in knowing the truth of what occurred prior to, at the time of and beyond the Omagh bomb is of greater need.

A Northern Ireland Office spokeswoman said the secretary of state was still considering whether it would be in the public interest to hold an inquiry.

She added: Her meeting with representatives of Omagh Support and Self Help Group this morning was part of the thorough process she has undertaken to assist in making this decision.

The secretary of state advised the OSSHG that she hopes to make her decision very soon, once she has consulted all those with an interest.
*
Peace Process
Mon 17 September 2012
*
Press Release



Omagh Support & Self Help Group has been invited to participate in talks regarding the Columbian peace process. Michael Gallagher will travel to Bogota on Wednesday 19th September to contribute to discussions outlining how victims were affected by the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. Michael will discuss his work with victims and victim related issues over the past 14 years. Speaking today, he said it was a great privilege and honour to be involved in a small way in the Columbian peace process, ensuring that the victims needs are foremost in all discussions.

*
Fishing Trip
Mon 17 September 2012
*
Members of Omagh Support recently enjoyed an overnight residential sea fishing trip. The residential took place in Killybeggs, the heart of fishing in Donegal.
*
14th Annual Memorial Service
Sun 12 August 2012
*
Over 200 people gathered at Omagh's Garden of Remembrance to pray for the victims of the Omagh Bomb at a cross-community service organised by OSSHG.
Clergy members from the various Christian denominations and for the first time, Ronald Appleton QC, president of the Jewish Community in Belfast participated in the service.
Also in attendance were representatives of the Irish and Northern Irish governments, including the Justice Minister, David Ford.
In addition to remembering the victims of Omagh, prayers were said for the Israeli athletes massacred in Munich and for those killed in Claudy and on Bloody Friday and Bloody Sunday, all of which took place 40 years ago this year.
Music was provided by St Eugene's brass band and the gospel singer, Leslie Matthews.
OSSHG wish to express their gratitude to all those who came out and stood by them in remembrance at this difficult time of year.
*
Visit to the Boyne Centre, Drogheda
Sun 05 August 2012
*
On Sunday 5th August, 32 Group members travelled by bus to the Battle of the Boyne Centre in Drogheda.
The visitors had the opportunity to learn about the history of the Battle at the site where approximately 1,500 soldiers were killed. Members re-enacted the Battle with some cast in the role of Jacobites and others as Williamites. They also had the chance to witness are artillery display.
*
OSSHG Twitter Account
Fri 03 August 2012
*
OSSHG are now on Twitter. You can follow us at www.twitter.com/OSSHG1
Show us your support.
*
Focus Group Meeting on Social Support
Wed 25 July 2012
*
Focus Group held a meeting on social support and how best to meet the needs of our members.
*
Visit to the Titanic Centre and W5
Sat 21 July 2012
*
48 Group members travelled to Belfast, where they had the choice to visit either the new Titanic Visitor's Centre or the W5 Centre.
This gave members the opportunity to learn about the history of the Titanic and experience what life was like for dockyard workers at the time.
The children in the Group visited the W5 Science and Discovery Centre, in what was both an educational and fun-filled day out.
*
Meeting with Irish Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Alan Shatter
Thu 19 July 2012
*
OSSHG representatives travelled to Dublin to meet with the Minister for Justice Mr Alan Shatter in Leinster House.
The purpose of the meeting was to deliver a copy of the Report commissioned on the Group's behalf to Mr Shatter as a representative of the Irish Government and to brief him on its contents. The Group further pressed the need for a full cross-border public inquiry to address the concerns raised in the Report.
Mr Shatter gave an undertaking that he would read and consider the Report and acknowledged that there were likely to be a number of unpalatable issues raised therein. He stated that if there were issues which had not been fully addressed then he would ensure they were followed-up on. The Group were informed that he would need to share the report with the Garda Commissioner.
*
OSSHG Representatives Travel to the House of Commons and House of Lords
Wed 11 July 2012
*
Following the very successful visit of Vernon Coaker to the OSSHG Offices, the Group received an invitation to attend the House of Commons to deliver a briefing on our campaign for a public inquiry and our recently commissioned Report.
On the 11th July, Michael Gallagher, Cat Wilkinson and Stanley McCombe met with the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee in the House of Commons. Also present at the meeting was Mr Martin Bridger, one of the Report's co-authors who delivered the briefing to the assembled MPs.
During their visit to London, the Group members also took the opportunity to meet with the former Police Ombudsman, Nuala O'Loan who is now a member of the House of Lords. She too was briefed on the contents of the Report.
The Group received a very warm welcome in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. There was a very favourable reception to the Report and such was the interest in the Group's ongoing campaign that a number of those in attendance have since requested private meetings with the Group in order to be further briefed on the campaign and Report.
Mr Bridger has been following up on these meetings in London on our behalf.
*
OSSHG attend the Queen's Jubilee Garden Party
Wed 27 June 2012
*
OSSHG were successful in securing much sought-after tickets for the Queen's Jubilee Garden Party at Stormont. On the morning of the 27th, 26 people travelled by bus to Stormont to attend the once in a lifetime event. Group members, both young and old, greatly enjoyed the atmosphere, music and the opportunity to see the Queen.
*
Vernon Coaker MP Visits OSSHG Offices
Tue 26 June 2012
*
On the 26th June, the Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Vernon Coaker visited the OSSHG's offices in Omagh to receive an update on the Group's campaign for a public inquiry.
Following a briefing outlining the Group's concerns, Mr Coaker gave an undertaking to raise questions on the Group's behalf in the House of Commons.
During his visit, Mr Coaker was given a tour of the OSSHG Offices and the Memorial Garden.
*
Meeting with Owen Paterson at Hillsborough Castle
Mon 18 June 2012
*
On the 18th June, members of the OSSHG travelled to Hillsborough Castle to meet with the Secretary of State, Owen Paterson and presented him with a report recently commissioned on our behalf.
For some months, a London-based company have worked on putting together a report on the events surrounding the Omagh Bomb with the aim of strengthening our campaign for a public inquiry. In pulling information together and looking at the events and issues in their totality, the report reveals a disturbing picture, which raises significant questions for both the British and Irish Governments.
During the hour-long meeting the Secretary of State was briefed on the contents of this report by one of its co-authors and a copy was delivered to him for his consideration.
Mr Paterson gave us his undertaking that he would give serious consideration to the issues raised within the report and indicated that he would share the information with the Chief Constable of the PSNI and the Minister for Justice.
Also present at the meeting was Mr Christopher Stanley of British Irish Rights Watch who are in support of our call for a full cross-border public inquiry into Omagh.
*
NAVT Conference
Tue 12 June 2012
*
On the 12th and 13th June, OSSHG hosted the annual international victims of terrorism conference in partnership with the Network of Associations of Victims of Terrorism (NAVT) based in Madrid. This was the first time the event had taken place in Ireland. The theme of the conference was 'Lessons Learned' and guest speakers included the former Beirut hostage Terry Waite CBE and Stephen Travers survivor of the Miami Show Band Massacre.
Victims and survivors of terrorism throughout Europe and America shared their experience and discussed best practice on legal, healthcare and social and psychological support to victims of terrorism.
The Conference took place at the Ulster America Folk Park, providing the opportunity to share some of our history and culture with our overseas visitors.
The delegates also visited the Memorial Garden and the Window of Hope and Omagh Bomb Archive in Omagh Library during their stay.
*
Northern Ireland Secretary of State Owen Paterson
Fri 11 May 2012
*
Relatives of the Omagh bomb victims held talks with Northern Ireland Secretary of State Owen Paterson on a new report commissioned into the atrocity yesterday at Stormont House.
We believe we have uncovered fresh evidence on the security force response to the Real IRA bomb plot which killed 29 people in the Co Tyrone town more than a decade ago.
We see this as an important step towards a public inquiry, this report will add pressure on the British and Irish governments to order an inquiry.
The Omagh Support and Self Help Group commissioned the report from a group of London-based consultants who have interviewed key figures associated with the case. The consultants have also examined material already compiled on the bombing.
The documentation includes police reports from both sides of the Irish border, a probe carried out by the Police Ombudsman in Northern Ireland, and a Government-sponsored review of how intelligence on the attack was handled.
We have also secured disclosure of other documents linked to the case. Four men have been held responsible by a civil court for the bombing. A man accused of murder was cleared by a court in 2007.
A 2001 report by former police ombudsman Dame Nuala O'Loan criticised poor judgment in the Royal Ulster Constabulary in the years after the attack.
*
Window Of Hope
Fri 30 March 2012
*
Michael Gallagher and Graham Warke (Shared City) in San Pablo CEU University Madrid for the unveiling of the fourth stain glass 'window of hope' in honor of the two individuals that were killed and the many injured in the Omagh bomb.
*
Cook it Programme
Fri 17 February 2012
*
Congratulations to Cat Wilkinson and Jacqui Woulfe for successfully completing the Cook It Programme.

Cook it! is a community based nutrition education programme targeted at lower income groups facilitated regionally by the HPA. It aims to provide practical experience of food preparation, with an opportunity to sample the completed dishes, thereby removing the financial risk involved in experimenting with new dishes within restricted resources. The Cook it! programme runs for 6 weeks and each session lasts approximately 1 -2 hours.

If you wish to take part in this programme please contact Shirley or Fionna in our office.

*
Youth Group
Fri 10 February 2012
*
We have lots of exciting events coming up for the Youth Group in 2012. Creative Arts classes, Sporting events, day tips and residentials. Ages 0-25. Please contact the office to complete a youth application form.
*
Trip To York
Mon 06 February 2012
*
We are currently working with out partner organisation to deliver a 5 day coach trip to York and the English Midlands. There will be a cost involved, please register your interest with our office manager Fionna.
*
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
Fri 03 February 2012
*
Today members of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee visited our office for a meeting to discuss important issues relating to the Support Group and its quest for a Public Inquiry. Prior to the meeting, Mr Laurence Robertson chairperson laid a wreath in teh Memorial Garden.
*
Counsellor Services
Mon 17 October 2011
*
The omagh support have two counsellors available each week to our members.

If you would like to avail of this service please contact the office for an appointment
*
International Congress of Victims of Terrorism 2011 - Paris
Tue 20 September 2011
*
The French Association of Victims of Terrorism (AfVT.org), member of the European Network for the Victims of Terrorism (NAVT), in partnership with the International Observatory for the Victims of Terrorism (CEU), has the pride to organize the VIIth International Congress of Victims of Terrorism that will take place on the 15th, 16th and 17th of September 2011 in Paris.

Terrorism has grown, more than ever, as a worldwide threatening phenomenon for all societies. That is the reason why AfVT.org invites the first concerned: victims, but also international experts, in order to have them heard without any political bias, or religious view and in respect of everyone’s cultural values.

For the first time, the International Congress of Victims of Terrorism will take place in a non Spanish speaking country. For this occasion, AfVT.org has the desire to develop the victim’s representation of geographical zones like Near and Middle East, Maghreb, Africa and Asia.

The goals of this major event concerning worldwide victims, is to help them express their opinions and have the recognition they deserve, towards both civil society and political authorities. Following the path of the past editions, a peculiar point of stress will be given to the reflection concerning relationships between victims of terrorism and society.

The VIIth International Congress of Victims of Terrorism Paris will receive many victims, civil society actors, political leaders, representatives of various institutions, international experts and journalists with the desire to translate all the issues terrorism is causing this world.

*
Barn Dance Fundraiser
Mon 19 September 2011
*
Omagh Support hosted a barn dance which took place on 17th of September 2011. The evening included Traditional music, line dancing and a hot food buffet. The night was a great success and raised £365.00

Omagh Support would like to thank all those involved in arranging and supporting this event.
*
13th Anniversary Omagh Bomb
Thu 11 August 2011
*
Omagh Support & Self Help Group are hosting the 13th Anniversary of the Omagh Bomb in the Memorial Garden, Drumragh Avenue, Omagh at 3pm on Sunday 14th August.


This is an inter-dominational service of music, verse and prayer.

As always we will be expressing our sympathies with the many victims of terrorist related atrocities at home and around the world.

We invite and welcome everyone to come along and join us on the 14th August to remember and honour all those who died and those who are still suffering.
*
Open Day - Augher Point Equestrian
Mon 08 August 2011
*
On Sunday 7th August, approx 30 members of Omagh Support traveled to Augher to partake in an open day event at Augher Point Equestrian.

The programme included riding demonstrations from some of Northen Irelands most accomplished riders, tour of the facilities, health and safety, an opportunity to get up close and personal with the horses and of course a chance to feed the horses for our junior visitors.

Augher Point riding school prides itself on its contemporary approach to horse riding, teaching its riders complete horse husbandry, anatomy and saddling techniques. Augher Point is also a rescue centre for abandoned or mistreated horses, bringing them back into health with an abundance of love and care from its dedicated staff.


Omagh Support would like to sincerely thank Augher Point Equestrian for hosting this open day complementary for its members.
*
Day Trip to Corrymeela
Mon 01 August 2011
*
On Saturday 30th July, 25 people from Omagh Support and Self Help Group journeyed to Corrymeela for a family fun day out and also had time to take in the breath taking views of the Giants Causeway. An outstanding dinner was provided at the Causeway Hotel. Thoroughly enjoyed by all, a very tired lot arrived back into Omagh at 9pm.
*
Norway Attacks
Sat 23 July 2011
*
Omagh Support & Self Help Group extend their sincere sympathies to Norway who are currently experiencing such a horrific and a barbaric attack on their people. Our thoughts are prayers are with you all.
*
AMERICAN INDEPENCE DAY
Thu 07 July 2011
*
Omagh Support & Self Help Group invite you to come celebrate American Indepence Day with a Barbecue at the Royal British Legion on Friday 8th July 2011 at 8pm. American Country Music, Line Dancers, Prize for best dressed American Western outfit

Tickets can be purchased at £5 either at Omagh Support premises or at the door on the night.

Everyone welcome to this community event.


*
JUDGEMENT OMAGH BOMB CIVIL CASE APPEAL
Thu 07 July 2011
*
News just in - McKevitt and Campbell have lost their appeal, judgement still to come on Daly and Murphy but looks as though they may get retrial in september.

Four men found liable for the Omagh bombing in a landmark civil case will find out on Thursday if their appeal against the ruling has been successful.

Michael McKevitt, Liam Campbell, Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly, brought the appeal after the families of some of the victims sued them and won their case in 2009.

Lawyers for the families are also appealing the compensation awarded. They say it should have been more because of the scale of the outrage.

No-one has ever been convicted in a criminal court of causing the deaths of the Omagh victims.

The only man to face criminal charges over the Omagh killings, Sean Hoey from Jonesborough in south Armagh, was acquitted in 2007.

The families brought the multi-million pound civil action in an attempt to bring fresh information about the atrocity to light

*
ANTI-TERRORISM CONFERENCE
Fri 17 June 2011
*
ANTI-TERRORISM CONFERENCE IN NAIROBI

Mr. Michael Gallagher spokesperson for the Omagh Support and Self Help Group recently returned from representing this Group at an Anti-Terrorism conference held in Nairobi, Africa.

The conference brought together anti-terrorism experts, victims of political violence, Government Department Heads, Police Chiefs and Government Ministers to discuss how security could be effectively improved and promoted within the IGAD area of Africa.

The Omagh Bomb was one of three case studies, studied by the delegates. The other case studies included the Kenya Embassy Bombing 1998, the Paradise Hotel and Arkia Airliner 582 bombing of 2002.

IGAD is the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, it consists of seven Eastern and North African countries and builds national capacity to resist terrorism and promoting region security and stability.

Mr. Gallagher commented I feel very privileged in being asked to share my knowledge and experience of the Omagh Bombing, and my knowledge learned during the years after the Omagh Bombing of 1998.

For further information about this article please contact Paul or Fionna Tel. 028 8225 9877 or e-mail osshg@hotmail.co.uk


*
FASHION SHOW HELD IN BRITISH LEGION
Fri 27 May 2011
*
A fashion show was organised for members and friends of the Omagh Support and Self Help Group at the Royal British Legion, Omagh on Friday, 27th May 2011.

The fashion show attracted 55 members and friends with many of them taking part in the competition and raffle which were held during the evening.

There was a competitions for the best dressed model and a raffle for wine, vouchers and ladies cosmetics.

The fund raising evening raised £250.00 for the Omagh Support and Self Help Group.


*
MEETING WITH DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS IRELAND
Wed 25 May 2011
*
Committee members of the Omagh Support and Self Help Group met with two representatives from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs on the 25th of May, 2011 in Omagh.

The committee members vigorously argued their rationale for a cross border public inquiry into the Omagh Bombing of 1998, they updated the two representatives of the Groups actions to achieve a cross border public inquiry including their need for a meeting with the Minister for Irish Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Eamon Gilmore TD., as soon as possible.

The meeting later discussed the recent financial award made to the Omagh Support and Self Help Group from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs of which the Group is grateful. This funding is to support reconciliation and social events organised at Corrymeela during 2011-2012. The projects are to be implemented with the participation of victims groups and individuals located in Claudy and Buncarna.

For further information or if you would like to participate in a cross border Corrymeela event please contact Fionna or Paul on 028-8225-9877 or e-mail OSSHG@hotmail.co.uk



*
LAUNCH OF IPAD AT OMAGH LIBRARY
Wed 25 May 2011
*
On Wednesday 25th May, 2011, in Omagh Library, an interactive iPad was unveiled, to complement the existing Window of Hope located in the library. This interactive service details in audio format the memories of people affected by the bombings of Omagh, Claudy, Spain and Buncrana and describes the meaning of the symbols in the Window of Hope.

The launch was attended by representatives from Omagh, Claudy and Buncrana families. Some of the dignatories included Mr. Frankie Donnelly, the newly appointed Chairperson of Omagh District Council, at his first official function as Mayor, Mr. Stephen Blakely Area Manager of Libraries NI, Joint Chair of Omagh Churches Forum Rev. Robert Clarke and Mrs. Jeanette Warke of the Shared City Project.

Mr.Michael Gallagher commented "It is important that people remember Omagh. This interactive display, lets people access and learn what happened on August 15th 1998. "

Mrs.Sadie Livingston commented "It was meaningful with the interactive display. The audio recordings bring our memories of the events to life and it creates an awareness to others as to the meaning of the Window of Hope"

Mrs.Kathleen Martin commented "I was very proud that I could see my daughters contribution in the window of hope"

For further information about this article please contact either Fionna or Paul Tel; 028-8225-9877 or e-mail OSSHG@hotmail.co.uk
*
THE SECOND HEART START SEMINAR
Tue 03 May 2011
*
With the popularity and success of the first heart start seminar, the Omagh Support and Self Help Group organised a second heart start seminar on the 3rd of May 2011. The tutor Mrs. Betty Dolan imparted life saving skills to the Group of Omagh Support and Self Help Group members and friends. The seminar was completed with the presentation of heart start completion certificates to the successful participants. For further information contact Fionna or Paul on 028-8225-9877 or e-mail OSSGH@hotmail.co.uk
*
GARDEN PARTY FUND RAISER IN OMAGH
Mon 02 May 2011
*
Mrs. Angela Gallagher organised a graden party fund raiser at her home in Omagh on the 2nd May 2011. The garden party successfully raised a considerable amount of funds for the Omagh Support and Self Help Group.Over 40 guests attended this event, being offered a meal and refreshments while they listened to the garden party band.
Mrs. Margaret Young, said " Angela put a lot of hard work into the day and it certainly paid off by its great success". Mrs . Dorothy Boyle supported these sentiments " I had a very good time with my friends, good food, good music and I won a bottle of wine. It was a successful event for Angela and her helpers". If you would like further information about the garden party please contact Fionna or Paul on 028-8225-9877 or e-mail OSSHG@hotmail.co.uk
*
EASTER BASKET AND FLOWERS WINNERS
Thu 21 April 2011
*
The winner of the Easter Basket competition was Ms. Chloe McFarland and Mr. Michael McAleer won the flower basket.
*
COFFEE MORNING AND RAFFLE
Thu 21 April 2011
*
On the 21st of April, 2011 Mrs.Jacqui Woulfe volunteer co-ordinator, volunteers and staff of the Omagh Support and Self Help Group held their ever popular coffee morning. Between twenty - five and thirty people enjoyed a cup of tea/coffee, cakes, scones and biscuits, all provided by friends of the Omagh Support and Self Help Group. The coffee morning was a wonderful opportunity for everyone to come together before the Easter holidays and take time out to chat or catch up with someone they haven't seen in a while or make new friends. A raffle was held Ms.Chloe McFarland won Easter floral arrangement donated to the raffle by Mrs.Margaret Young and Mr. Michael McAleer won the Easter Hamper, full of goodies. Our members and volunteers are looking forward to having our next coffee morning during June 2011. For further information please contact Fionna or Paul Tel: 028-8225-9877 or e-mail OSSHG@HOTMAIL.co.uk
*
REMEMBERING THE PAST LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Wed 30 March 2011
*
Omagh Support and Self Help Group organised a Remembering the Past Looking to the Future conference at the Siverbirch Hotel on the 30th March, 2011. This event brought together victims of political violence, from all over Ireland, providing a forum within which they could exhibit their story to interested groups and individuals.

This event proved to be a success with over 102 people attending, from all walks of life, traditions and backgrounds. The key note speakers at this event included the now retired Special Envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Mr. Terry Waite CBE , Trade Unionist and Community Activitist Baroness May Blood MBE and Victims commentator Mr. Richard Moore.

All three speakers provided the conference with a summary of their interpretation of sectarianism and the meaning of forgiveness from the victims of political violence.

Over fifty, victims of political violence stories were exhibited on stands, which recounted the details of their story.

The conference was financially supported by the Peace III funding.

The exhibition is now on the road to find out where you could visit the exhibition as it makes its way through Ireland please contact Fionna on, Tel: 028-8225-9877 or e-mail OSSHG@hotmail.co.uk

Click here to see the outcomes of the conference
*
HEART START TRAINING PROGRAMME
Tue 22 March 2011
*
Omagh Support and Self Help Group in conjunction with the British Heart Start Initiative have organised a training seminar for its members. This is a UK initiative, co-ordinated by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to provide the public with the knowledge and the skills to respond correctly in a life threatening situation.

The Heart Start initiative is a training programme, delivered by the British Heart Foundation and supported in this instance by the Omagh Support and Self Help Group.

The Heart Start course imparts, a set of actions to keep a person alive until professional help arrives. The set of actions can be utilized in a range of emergency situations including choking, bleeding, heart attack and cardiac arrest.

The Omagh Support and Self Help Group is a charitable organization, which provides support to victims of political violence in Northern Ireland. If you would like further information about the Omagh Support and Self Help Group or the content of this article please visit our website on www.omaghbomb.co.uk or telephone Paul or Fionna on 028-8225-9877.
*
STRATEGIC PLANNING WEEKEND
Fri 18 March 2011
*
Members, employees and management committee members of the Omagh Support and Self Help Group attended a strategic planning weekend at the Corick House, Hotel, Clougher on the weekend of 18th of March 2011.

This strategic seminar was an opportunity for the Groups newly appointed management committee, staff and members, to participate in strategic planning excercises including identification of the organisational objectives for 2011, the revision of the Groups constitution and an update of the Groups policies and procedures. The results of this residential ensures the future success, wellbeing and financial security of the Group.

The Omagh Support and Self Help Group currently has a membership of 150 members, and offers educational, reconciliation and recreational opportunities to its members. For more information about the Omagh Support and Self Help Group please telephone Paul or Fionna on 028-8225-9877or e-mail Omagh_support@hotmail.co.uk.

*
BRUSSELS VISIT
Thu 10 March 2011
*
Mr. Stanley McCombe and Mr. Michael Gallagher represented the Omagh Support and Self Help Group at the Seventh Annual Day of Remembrance in Brussels organised by the European Union Parliament and the European Victims’ Network, which the Omagh Support and Self Help Group are the lead partner.

The theme of the event was the role of victims of terrorism in preventing violent radicalisation. The event was opened by Cecilia Malmstrom, European Union Commissioner for Home Affairs. A video was shown of memorial events across Europe, which included Omagh and there were victims representatives from Europe, South America and Africa. The keynote speaker was European Union Counter-Terrorism Co-ordinator Gilles De Kerchove.

Omagh Support and Self Help Group believe it essential to be represented at events such as this in Ireland, the United Kingdom and around the world.

Fritz Schipper and Michael Gallagher, who lost his son and daughter-in-law in the Bali bombing.
*
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SEMINAR
Mon 21 February 2011
*
Omagh Support and Self Help Group in conjunction with SouthWest College Omagh, have organised a course of learning in basic Information Technology for members and friends of the Omagh Support and Self Help Group.

The course began on Monday the 21st February, 2011 and is held each week at the Omagh Offices of the Omagh Support and Self Help Group, with the course taught and organised by a SouthWest College Information Technology tutor.

The course is designed to provide participants with skills and knowledge of;
administration, preparing grids and timetables, utilizing pictures, spreadsheets, internet searches and e-mail.

For further information contact Paul or Fionna on 028-8225-9877 or e-mail the Omagh Support and Self Help Group on OSSHG@hotmail.co.uk.
*
MEETING WITH Mr.JEFFREY DONALDSON MP
Fri 11 February 2011
*
Mrs Edith White and Mr. Neil Oliver, met with Mr. Jeffrey Donaldson MP,at Democratic Unionist Party Headquarters in Lisburn, Co.Antrim on 11th February 2011.

Mrs. White and Mr. Neil Oliver met with Mr.Donaldson MP to discuss the current political position of the DUP in regard to the Omagh Families Fight for a Public Inquiry into a the Omagh Bomb. A copy of the minutes are available upon the request from the Omagh Support and Self Help Group Offices, contact Fionna or Paul on tel 028-8225-9877 or e-mail OSSHG@Hotmail.co.uk
*
MEETING WITH Mr. TOM ELLIOTT MLA
Thu 03 February 2011
*
Mr. Tom Elliott MLA, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party is attending a meeting with the Mrs. Patsy Gallagher (Chair) and committee members of the Omagh Support and Self Help Group at their Offices in Omagh, Co.Tyrone at 11.00 am on the Thursday 3rd of February 2011.

This meeting represents another public endorsement of support for the Omagh Support and Self Help Groups campaign for a public inquiry into the Omagh Bombing of 1998. Mrs. Gallagher is expected to discuss with Mr. Elliott the advancements being made to achieve the awarding of a public inquiry into the Omagh Bomb and how the Ulster Unionist Party can actively support the Omagh Support and Self Help Group in this campaign. Mr. Elliott said;

'He would support all of the Omagh Families in all ways possible, which would provide closure for them to this tragic event'

Mrs.Gallagher is expected to discuss with Mr.Elliott the organisations (Omagh Support and Self Help Group) plans for 2011 and the current support services offered by the group to its members. These services include, a befriending service, advice, advocacy and and support service and the advancement of education and protection to its members.

The Omagh Support and Self Help Group, is making a significant contribution to reconciliation within Ireland and to establish contacts and networks in Brussels, thus influencing the 'victims of political violence agenda' at the highest level in Ireland, the UK and Europe.

Mrs.Gallagher said; 'I am delighted that Mr.Elliott leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, has taken this strong interest in Omagh'
*
*
* * *
*
*
VIEW LARGE FORMAT
VIEW NORMAL FORMAT
* Omagh Support & Self Help Group - Omagh Victims Group
Bridge Centre| 5A Holmview Avenue | Omagh | Co. Tyrone | BT79 0AQ
Tel: 028 8225 9877 | Fax: 028 8225 9877
Registered charity number: NI100554
Button: Facebook Btn *