Sunday, October 12, 2008
Irish Movie Review - "Omagh" 2004
On August 15, 1998, a car bomb exploded in Omagh, Northern Ireland killing 29 people and injuring some 220 others. It was the single worst incident in Northern Ireland in over 30 years. "Omagh" is a tough movie to watch and a tough movie to write about. It is a relentless true story of horrible incident in a country that has had it share of violence. The film is shot documentary style and keeps you involved emotionally as you watch the story unfold.
The movie focuses on Michael Gallagher, a mechanic thrust into the spotlight following his decision to pursue the members of the Real IRA who murdered his 21 year old son Aiden (along with so many others).
I remember reading about the terrorist attack but watching this movie brought home the reality and pain of the victims of this muderous action. The film raises the issue of who knew about the bombing in advance and points a finger at the governments of England, Ireland and the police forces in the North and in the South. I'm not sure what I believe in that regard but it is clear from the film that neither government did a sufficient job of protecting innocent people or in prosecuting the guilty/
This is a movie that represents the best in filmmaking. I am very glad a film like this was made.
This year I visited Northern Ireland for the 1st time and visited a relative just 30 miles away from where this bombing happened. While I was there in Norther Ireland I read stories of continuing murders that were still happening by the same groups that were responsible for Omagh. Even though there has been a lot of positive change since the peace agreement was signed 10 years ago there are still dead-enders who continue their violent actions.
10 years later no one has been convicted although they know who did it and some of the murderer were convicted of other crimes.
I recommend this movie highly. Be prepared to be moved emotionally.
U2 Tribute for Omagh Bombing