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10 September 1998 Edition

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Omagh bomb group calls ceasefire

The announcement of a ``complete cessation of military activity'' from midnight on Tuesday by the group responsible for the Omagh bomb came following a week of extensive political pressure exerted by republicans and others.

Last week, in An Phoblacht, the IRA called on the group to disband saying, ``they should disband and they should do so sooner rather than later''.

Mitchell McLaughlin, Sinn Fein chairperson, in welcoming the decision, made it clear that for ``anyone thinking about supporting them, their position is wrong''.

McLaughlin made it clear that it was imperative to understand the risks inherent in the failure to grasp the democratic potential of the current situation.

He said, ``the focus must now be on the desire of the Irish people for progress. That means implementing the Agreement in full and getting the Executive, All-Ireland ministerial council and other structures up and running.''

McLaughlin added, ``the response of the two governments in rushing through draconian legislation was wrong. This is a political conflict that requires political not repressive measures to resolve it.''

He said it was now necessary for any remaining organisation not on ceasefire, to call a cessation.

On Saturday the 29th victim of the Omagh bomb died in Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital. Sean McGrath (61), who was a baker in Omagh, leaves a wife, two sons and two daughters. He was buried in Omagh on Monday.
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