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Global victims inspired by Omagh survivors

• By Peter Kelly

TERRORISM survivors from as far away as Australia and the United States have paid tribute to Omagh victims.

In messages of solidarity, international survivors added their voices of support on the 20th anniversary of the atrocity. Reaching out from Perth and New York, fellow victims campaigners spoke of their comradeship to Tyrone families.

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David Napoli of the Western Australia-based Bali Peace Park Association told the UH that links between global survivors and Omagh remain strong.

“Our thoughts are with everyone touched by the Omagh tragedy today,” he said. “Across the miles and across the years, we are united in our grief and our determination to stand together for peace.

“So that families and communities can have a future without fear,” he added.

The group represents the 88 Australian victims of the Bali bombings in October 2002 which claimed 202 lives. Their patron, counter-terrorism expert Dr Anne Aly visited Omagh in 2014 and later paid tribute to victims spokesman Michael Gallagher in her maiden speech as an Australian MP.

Attending Sunday’s event was US campaigner Sarri Singer, from the Manhattan-based ‘Strength to Strength Global’ organisation. Ms Singer is a survivor of a Middle East terror attack and has included Northern Ireland victims on respite trips to New York.

“It’s important they know that they’re not forgotten,” she said. “We need to show each other support and be there for loved ones in all places around the world.”

As an international body representing victims, the New York group has hosted bonding and comradeship events for fellow survivors around the world, including in London after the 2005 underground attacks. Ms Singer said, “I’m honoured to be here in Omagh. The energy and drive among victims here in their search for justice is inspiring.”

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The director of the global network called on governments to be mindful of survivors in the aftermath of conflict.

“Victims must be engaged in these discussions and involved in peace processes,” she added. “We stand together because we feel it in every place around the world affected by terrorism.”

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