It is “really important” that the Irish Government cooperates with the inquiry into the Omagh bombing, the father of one of the victims has said.
It killed 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins, and 220 others were injured.
The bombing caused the largest loss of life of any incident during the Troubles and among the dead was Michael Gallagher’s son, Aiden.
Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Mr Gallagher said it was “difficult” to think that a quarter of a century had passed since the atrocity.
“I knew in the early days it was going to be a long road but I certainly did not know how long that road was going to be,” he said.
“Most of that time has really been looking for answers, for the truth of what happened - particularly in the lead up to the bomb on the day and shortly afterwards.”
In 2021, a judge in Belfast ruled there should be a new investigation into the attack and in February, the British Government confirmed there would be an "independent statutory inquiry".
“I think it’s really important that the [Irish] Government cooperate and share all of the information they can,” Mr Gallagher said.
“Obviously there is information they wouldn’t want to put in the public domain, we understand that.
“But we feel that this inquiry needs to be open and transparent and accountable.”
Mr Gallagher said he had met with members of the Irish Government to discuss the inquiry and they had assured him of their desire to help.
“I think it’s very important that it does happen and I know it will happen,” he said.
“Both Helen McEntee and the Tánaiste gave us a guarantee that they will cooperate.
“Even on the day the Secretary of State announced the public inquiry, as far as I remember, the Taoiseach… was actually in Belfast and he said that the Irish Government would not be ‘found wanting’.”
Terms of reference
The inquiry has been tasked with considering the handling and sharing of intelligence, the usage of mobile phone analysis, whether there was advance knowledge of the bombing and whether it could have been prevented.
Mr Gallagher is hopeful it will provide him with the answers and he and other bereaved relatives have long sought.
“It is very important that anyone and everyone, when this inquiry starts, comes forward and if they can give even the tiniest piece of the jigsaw, I think it [would be] very important,” he said.
On Sunday, a memorial service for those who died was held in Omagh.
Main image: The scene of the car bombing in the centre of Omagh, Co Tyrone.