Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (109)

Mattie McGrath


109. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has met with a group (details supplied). [33412/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I have not personally met with the Omagh Support and Self Help Group / Omagh Victims Support Group. However, my Department regularly engages on my behalf with the Group, which provides access to health and well-being services, advocacy and other support services for victims’ families and survivors of Troubles-related attacks and trauma, and the wider community impacted by such acts.

The Group advocates for and works to support many of the victims’ families and survivors affected by the Omagh bombing in 1998.

We must never forget those who lost their lives, those who were injured and the families whose suffering for their lost loved ones continues as a result of this appalling attack.

My colleague, Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, represented the Government at the ceremony to mark the 20th anniversary of the Omagh bombing, on 12 August last at the Memorial Garden, Omagh.

The Omagh Support and Self Help Group have successfully applied for funding under my Department’s Reconciliation Fund on a number of occasions, most recently in 2017. My Department looks forward to continuing this constructive engagement with the Group in the period ahead.

The Government also contributes significantly to the EU PEACE IV programme (2014-2020), which includes a specific action on Victims and Survivors. This action is delivered by the Victims and Survivors Service in Northern Ireland which provides funding supports to organisations - including the Omagh Support and Self Help Group - to provide health and wellbeing and advocacy support services for victims and survivors.

This engagement and funding support from the Government is part of our commitment, set out in the Programme for Partnership Government, to continue support for victims’ groups and to promote reconciliation among communities on both sides of the border, which were particularly affected by the Troubles.

The Government is also continuing to work to support the implementation of the legacy framework provided for under the Stormont House Agreement, to provide families with a way to access whatever truth and justice that is possible in their cases, and as a very necessary step in achieving a fully reconciled society.