In 1998, the Troubles in Northern Ireland were cooling down. There had been a number of ceasefires by paramilitary groups and negotiations had been taking place, leading to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in April.
Ironically, the deadliest attack of the entire conflict took place against this apparently peaceful backdrop. A car bomb by a republican splinter group, the Real IRA, killed 29 people in Omagh, County Tyrone. Despite the IRA telephoning warnings 40 minutes before the bombing, these were inaccurate and police inadvertently moved people toward the car bomb.
The dead included many different ages, nationalities, religious backgrounds and unborn twins. The bombing caused considerable international and domestic outrage and was an extreme blow to the dissident republican movement, led the IRA to declare a ceasefire and spurred further work on the peace process.
Source: Belfast Telegraph
- 1998-08-15 Omagh bombing in Northern Ireland, the worst terrorist incident of The Troubles, kills 29 people and injures about 220