1998-Omagh Bombing

August 15, 2022

The Omagh bombing on August 15, 1998, by the Real Irish Republican Army was the single deadliest attack during the three-decades-long Troubles in Northern Ireland. The attack happened a few months after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, a document laying out the necessary steps to a more peaceful Northern Ireland.

The Real Irish Republican Army, a radical group, carried out the terrorist attack in Tyrone County. The bombers ferrying 500 lbs. of homemade explosives could not find parking near the courthouse, which was the intended target. Instead, they parked 400 meters away, with the deadly explosion killing 29 people and injuring at least 200 more.

The Troubles in Ireland, which lasted three decades, was a civil conflict between the majority-the Protestant community, which favored Northern Ireland remaining a part of the UK, and the minority-the Catholic community, who wanted it to be a part of the Republic of Ireland.

A few decades after its genesis in the late 1960s, the IRA and several protestant paramilitary groups agreed to a ceasefire. And on April 10, 1998, delegations from the major parties signed the Good Friday Agreement to seal the peace deal.

But many of the IRA objected to the Agreement, which required them to seek a political solution to their grievances through Sinn Féin, the representative political party. The group effectively broke away, forming a competing organization, the Real IRA.

On August 15, 1998, the Real Irish Republican Army carried out a bomb attack in Omagh, resulting in mass deaths and casualties.

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