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Promoting Irish Culture and History from Little Rock, Arkansas, USA

Charles, the Prince of Wales, Visits Omagh

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Charles, the Prince of Wales, visits Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, on May 5, 1999, and meets with relatives of those killed in the August 15, 1998 car bombing and some of the young people who were injured.

The prince has a private meeting with a group of those injured and bereaved in the August attack on the Northern Ireland market town, which left 29 dead. It fulfills a promise he made to the people of the town when he visited it three days after the bombing by the Real Irish Republican Army (IRA).

After his meeting with residents at the offices of Omagh District Council, the prince says, “I was determined to come back today to see how all of you were faring after all the terrible things you have had to go through.”

Referring to the IRA assassination of his uncle, Lord Mountbatten, he says, “Having experienced myself a relative who was blown to smithereens, I can well understand how these poor people must feel.” He adds that there is enormous concern and care across the world, and many who have given generously to the Omagh Fund, which organisers say has topped £4.5m.

Before visiting the site of the bombing and the regeneration scheme, the prince says the rebuilding plans are bringing “new life, new meaning and new hope back to this really remarkable community.”

“It always was a remarkable community, it still is. You set a wonderful example to many other communities, not only in Northern Ireland but in other parts of the world who also have suffered so traumatically,” the prince says.

Speaking about his visit to Soho following the Admiral Duncan pub bombing by neo-Nazi David Copeland the previous Friday (April 30, 1999), he adds, “I am sure your experiences will be of enormous help to those people in London who have shared with you yet another tragedy in another horrible bombing.”

Marion Radford, who was injured in the Omagh bombing and whose 16-year-old son Alan died, says, “Visits like this help, just to know people care. I found this helpful, I found him a very nice person, he does care and was a sympathetic listener.”

(From: “UK Prince returns to Omagh,” BBC News, http://www.bbc.news.com, May 5, 1999)

Author: Jim Doyle

As a descendant of Joshua Doyle (b. 1775, Dublin, Ireland), I have a strong interest in Irish culture and history, which is the primary focus of this site. I am a Network Engineer at The Computer Hut, LLC, which is my salaried job. I am a member of the Irish Cultural Society of Arkansas, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (2010-Present, President 2011-2017) and a commissioner on the City of Little Rock Arts+Culture Commission (2015-2020, 2021-Present, Chairman 2017-2018).

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