Ulster Human Rights Watch (UHRW) has said that the Republic of Ireland Government has fallen short on its response to a Public Inquiry into the Omagh outrage.
The Tanáiste Micheál Martin said the Irish State would fully co-operate with the Inquiry but ruled out a separate Inquiry to look at its own role and security and investigative deficiencies.
The cross-border aspect to this case was fully mentioned at the High Court in Belfast.
The expectations of victims are clearly for a judicially led process in the Republic of Ireland in parallel to the inquiry in Northern Ireland.
Following the publication of the UK Government’s terms of reference for the upcoming public inquiry, UHRW Advocacy Manager, Axel Schmidt, said: “The statement by Mr Martin is disappointing. In our view, a commitment to fully cooperate is welcome but doesn’t go far enough, and the excuse that a separate Inquiry in the Republic of Ireland would overlap and duplicate doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
“What will full cooperation look like? Will the books be open to allow full, unfettered access to security files? Was there surveillance and intelligence on terrorists in the days leading up to the atrocity. Was relevant information passed on in a timely fashion?
“Many terrorist actions in Northern Ireland were planned and carried out from the Irish Republic. We are calling on the Tánaiste to set up legacy institutions and ensure that innocent victims of terrorism are not forgotten.
“Many families are still waiting on answers and feel that they are not being given any priority in the Republic.
“Ulster Human Rights Watch is calling on Tánaiste Micheál Martin to tell victims and their families exactly what steps his Government is going to take to establish and deliver legacy mechanisms equivalent to those set up in Northern Ireland. They cannot remain silent on an issue that is vital for reconciliation and healing.”