Ashley Underwood QC successful in obtaining leave for judicial review in relation to Omagh Bombing

01 Jan 2018

Inquests and Inquiries, Public Law and Judicial Review

Michael Gallagher’s long standing campaign for a cross-border investigation into the Omagh bombing has resulted in the High Court ruling that the authorities were arguably in breach of their obligations to prevent the atrocity. Michael’s appointed senior counsel, Ashley Underwood QC, was instrumental in seeking a full hearing to show the state had yet to properly investigate the circumstances of the Omagh bombing.”

The campaign battle was taken to the High Court in Belfast after the Northern Ireland Secretary, Theresa Villiers, announced in 2013 that there were insufficient grounds to justify a further inquiry; and that a continuing investigation by the police ombudsman was the best way to address the matter.

Cornerstone Barristers’ Ashley Underwood contended that the state had a duty to investigate and that ‘there is an arguable case that the state could and should have prevented the atrocity at Omagh’. Ashley sought leave to advance to a full judicial review hearing, stating that if an obligation existed then the secretary of state had got it wrong.

The government’s decision not to hold a public inquiry into the Omagh bombing, which killed 29 people in August 1998 will now be judicially reviewed with the substantive hearing to take place in April.

For further news reports on the case click here.