1. ITV Report

Public inquiry into Omagh bombing ruled out

The Government has ruled out holding a public inquiry into the events surrounding the Omagh bombing.ITV News' Neil Connery reports:

Twenty-nine people were killed - including a woman pregnant with twins - in the 1998 bombing carried out by the Real IRA aimed at disrupting the peace process.

The event is dogged in controversy with long standing allegations that intelligence and investigative failures by authorities on both sides of the border allowed the bombers to both carry out the crime and get away with it.

Twenty-nine people were killed in the attack by the Real IRA. Credit: PA Wire

"After consultation and careful consideration, I have decided not to instigate a public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the bombing in Omagh on 15 August 1998," Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers said.

Ms Villiers said it was not an easy decision to make, insisting the current investigation by the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland is the best way to address the outstanding issues with the police investigation.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers said the current investigation was the best way to address outstanding issues. Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Families of the victims vowed to take the Government to court over the decision.

Michael Gallagher, whose 21-year-old son Aiden died in the August 1998 blast, described the decision as "extremely upsetting".

Michael Gallagher lost his 21-year-old son Aidan in the Omagh bomb. Credit: PA Wire

Mr Gallagher argued it was in the public interest to hold an inquiry.