Omagh Support & Self Help Group (OSSHG) was founded in the aftermath of the Omagh Bomb in August 1998 to act as a source of support and solace for those adversely affected. Widely acknowledged as the worst single act of terrorism in the last 30 years, on Saturday 15th August 1998 at 3.10pm a car bomb exploded in Omagh, County Tyrone, killing 29 people plus two unborn children, and physically injuring over 200 others. 21 died where they fell while 8 more died on the way to, or in, hospital. Nine children (5 girls and 4 boys; including an 18 month-old baby), two unborn children, 14 women and 6 men died at the scene or in hospital. The powerful blast wave was so powerful that the bodies of several victims were never found. Further from the epicentre, the blast tore limbs of many people. The intense heat of the explosion caused severe burns. As well as the blast, shards of glass and metal sliced through the crowd of civilians. The bomb not only affected those directly injured and bereaved, but impacted significantly on the wider community.
Omagh Support and Self Help Group is a victims group, made up of victims from all denominations and walks of life. With a current membership of over 170 victims of the Omagh Bomb, the group is represented by a Management Committee of 9 members, including Chairman, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. Whilst the group primarily operates within the area of Omagh District, it retains close alliances with victims of the bomb located in Buncrana and Spain, as well as a wider network of victims throughout Ireland.
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