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Two minute silence to mark Omagh Bomb anniversary

A TWO minute silence is to take place at 3.10pm on Wednesday, August 15 next to mark the 20th anniversary of the Omagh Bomb in what will be the final annual commemoration of the atrocity.

The events marking the bomb which claimed the lives of 31 people, including unborn twins, are being co-ordinated by the Omagh Support and Self Help Group, Families Moving On and the Omagh Churches Forum.

The public reflective event is to include a short service at the bottom of Market Street in Omagh where the vigil will begin with the ringing of a bell 32 times to reflect the 31 lives lost and an additional ring in remembrance of all those who have and continue to lose their lives in atrocities all over the world. The bell will stop ringing at exactly 3.10pm, the moment of the explosion.

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A local artist will sing a short piece, after which the public will be invited to receive flower petals which they can scatter into the river or place in the pond in the Memorial Garden.

The annual inter-denominational service is to take place on Sunday, August 12 at 3pm in the Memorial Garden.

Performing at it will be the Omagh Community Youth Choir. They will sing a song especially composed for this service by its musical director, Daryl Simpson. Local singer, Leslie Matthews and St Eugene’s Band will also provide musical interludes.

Michael Gallagher, whose son Aiden was 21 years of age when he was killed in the bomb said he felt the 20th anniversary is a significant milestone for the community and those who have been deeply affected.

“Communal prayer and solidarity is important not just for the victims and survivors of Omagh, but as an expression of cohesion in a world that unfortunately is infused with violent extremism,” he said.

Joint artistic director for the commemoration, Carole Kane of Expressive Arts, said the communities of Omagh and the surrounding villages were being invited to gather together to remember those affected by the terrible atrocity.

She is also facilitating public art workshops, culminating in visual art tokens made by the local community.

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Throughout that anniversary week, quiet places of reflection are also being held in a range of locations in the town.

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