SDLP West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan has paid tribute to the strength of the Omagh bombing families.
Mr McCrossan was speaking ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Omagh bombing on Tuesday.
West Tyrone MLA Mr McCrossan said:
“The events of August 15 1998 have cast a long shadow over the town of Omagh. The scars still run deep, for many the pain is as a real today as it was 25 years ago, when life changed forever for hundreds of people right across this community.
“I cannot adequately express how proud I am of how this community has responded in the years since the bombing. Instead of being consumed by bitterness and hatred, the Omagh families have shown strength, dignity and a humanity that couldn’t reasonably have been expected of them in these awful circumstances. It has been an honour and privilege to get to know them over the years and to support them in their never-ending quest for truth and justice.
“I attended the service in Omagh on Sunday and was struck by how far this community has come since 1998. Tuesday will provide us with another important opportunity to come together and remember those lost and injured on that fateful day and the struggle the families have faced in the intervening years to find out exactly what happened.
“It is deeply distressing that as we mark 25 years since the bombing we are still waiting for the commencement of an inquiry into the Omagh bombing. Families have already waited far too long, many family members of victims have passed away and we need to see this inquiry start as soon as possible. There can be no stone left unturned and the Irish Government must give their full cooperation to the inquiry. The SDLP will continue to support the Omagh families and be by their side throughout this process, as we have been throughout the past 25 years. Justice must be done and the truth must finally come out, it’s the least the Omagh families and the people of this town deserve.”