[Sinn Fein]

12th December 2001

Report must be acted upon

Sinn Fein MP for West Tyrone Pat Doherty has said that the people of Omagh will be `greatly angered' by the contents of the Police Ombudsman's report into the events surrounding the Omagh bomb and subsequent RUC investigation. Mr. Doherty added that the recommendations of the report should be fully acted upon. Mr. Doherty said:

``My feelings and the feelings of the people of West Tyrone at this time are with the families of those killed and with those who were injured in the Omagh bomb. The contents of this report will inevitably compound their suffering and pain.

``This report is a damning indictment of the role of the RUC Special Branch. They have for decades operated as a force within a force. The fact is that the Special Branch and those who ignored the warnings alerting them to an attack in Omagh are still in place. The failures identified by the Ombudsman in this report will happen again if radical changes are not made.

``Sinn Fein fully support the call made today by both the Ombudsman and many of the families for a fully independent inquiry into the Omagh bomb. As MP for West Tyrone, I intend to meet with the Ombudsman, the British Secretary of State and the Irish government in the coming period to discuss this report in further detail.''

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