Northern Ireland

Co Tyrone man who lost three generations of family in Omagh bomb has died

Mick Grimes lost three generations of his family in the 1998 Omagh bomb
Mick Grimes lost three generations of his family in the 1998 Omagh bomb

TRIBUTES have been paid to a Co Tyrone man who lost three generations of his family in the Omagh bomb.

Beragh native Mick Grimes died yesterday aged in his 90s.

His wife Mary (66), daughter Avril Monaghan (30) and 18-month-old granddaughter Maura were all killed in the Real IRA attack in the centre of Omagh in August 1998.

Avril, who was Maura’s mother, was also carrying unborn twins when the bomb ripped through the town, claiming the lives of 26 other people.

Mr Grimes was well known in the Beragh area where he spent his life farming and was active in the local community, helping to set up a youth club and a cross-community magazine.

Michael Gallagher, whose son Aidan (21) was killed in Omagh, was among those who paid tribute to Mr Grimes last night.

He said he was conscious of the pain he had to deal with.

“He is a man that had to endure an horrendous amount of suffering."

Mr Gallagher recalled that when he was identifying his own son’s body at a temporary morgue set up after the bomb members of the Grimes family were also there.

“They did the identifying before me and I heard them being called forward,” he said.

“It just seemed horrendous and was just sad that during his lifetime he never got any answers.”

In 2008 Mr Grimes published a book about his life, Till We Meet Again, and dedicated it to those who died in the bomb attack.

He wrote about the day his loved ones were killed and later spoke about how difficult it was.

He said: “I had to include it because it was a life story and that is part of it.

“It wouldn’t have been complete without it.”

Meanwhile, a second family who lost a loved one in the Omagh bomb were also mourning yesterday after Drumquin native John Skelton died aged 83.

His daughter-in-law Philomena Skelton (49) was among the Omagh victims.

Mrs Skelton’s husband Kevin is a high-profile campaigner on behalf of victims' relatives.