Sunday Life

Human Rights Commission seeks Omagh cop meeting

14 November 2004

The Human Rights Commission is to seek a meeting with the senior police officer investigating the Omagh bombing.

The move comes after relatives of the victims asked the commission to back calls for a public enquiry, into events leading up to the 1998 atrocity.

Former Garda sergeant, John White, who "handled" a thief who stole several cars used in Real IRA bombings prior to the Omagh attack, has claimed that the criminal told him that a Vauxhall car was being sought by the terrorists for a bombing in Northern Ireland, two weeks before the outrage.

But the intelligence wasn't passed to the RUC, to enable them to frustrate the attack.

Paddy Dixon - currently on a Garda witness protection programme - has yet to be interviewed by police here - even though it's believed he has been living in England for several months.

Efforts by the officer in charge of the Omagh investigation, Chief Superintendent Norman Baxter, to interview the car-thief have been thwarted by the authorities in Dublin.

It's believed Dixon is in a postion to verify Sergeant White's account.

In a letter last week to Michael Gallagher, the chairman of the Omagh support group, Brice Dickson, of the Human Rights Commission, said he is seeking an interview with Mr Baxter before deciding whether to support a public enquiry.

Mr Gallagher said: "I understand where Brice Dickson is coming from.

"He has asked us to consider sending a letter to his counterpart in Dublin, the Irish Human Rights Commission, outlining our points, and we will do that."

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