Written Answers. - Omagh Bombing Victims.

Proinsias De Rossa


73 Proinsias De Rossa asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will introduce a Supplementary Estimate to allow the State to make a financial contribution to the victims of the Omagh bombing and the reconstruction of the town. [17515/98]

In May of this year, prior to the Omagh outrage, the Government gave approval for a review of the services and arrangements in place to meet the needs of those who have suffered as a result of violent action associated with the conflict in Northern Ireland.

The former Tánaiste John P. Wilson accepted the invitation of my colleague the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Deputy O'Donoghue, to carry out this important task on behalf of the Government.

In June the Government approved the terms of reference for the Victims Commission which asked Mr. Wilson to identify what further measures needed to be taken to acknowledge and address the suffering and concerns of those in question.

While no date has been fixed by which Mr. Wilson must report back to Government, he has indicated, that he hopes to do so before the end of 1998 or very early in 1999. It is intended that this report will form the basis of a comprehensive and inclusive response to the needs of victims.

The Taoiseach said in his statement on the Omagh bombing in this House on 2 September, the Government is always conscious of all the victims of violence. All our energies, and all our efforts are focused on trying to ensure that there are no more victims, no more tragedies.

In terms of further concrete measures in support of victims of violence, either in Omagh or elsewhere, the Government would prefer to await the outcome of the deliberations and proposals of the Victims Commission.