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Omagh (2004)

TV Movie  |  PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  22 May 2004 (Ireland)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,364 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 22 critic

An examination of the aftermath of the 1998 Real IRA bombing that killed 29 people in Omagh, Northern Ireland.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Michèle Forbes ...
Patsy Gallagher (as Michele Forbes)
...
...
Peter Ballance ...
Mark Breslin (as Peter Balance)
...
...
Kathy Kiera Clarke ...
Clare Connor ...
Gerard Crossan ...
...
Sarah Gilbert ...
Alan Devlin ...
Frances Quinn ...
Tara Lynne O'Neill ...
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Storyline

15 August 1998: the Real IRA exploded a bomb on a crowded street in Omagh, just into Northern Ireland, to halt the Good Friday accords and peace process; 29 people died. Families formed the Omagh Support Group to press the police in their inquiries. The film focuses on the Gallagher family, who lose their son Aiden. His father, Michael, a mechanic, becomes chair of the support group. The press for answers strains his relationship with his wife. High-ranking police speak in bromides. Shadowy figures offer intelligence that calls into question the integrity before and after the bombing of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and its Special Branch. Will the murders remain unsolved? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ireland | police | ira | bombing | peace | See All (129) »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for an intense scene of terrorist violence, disturbing images and brief strong language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

22 May 2004 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Omag  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song "Broken Things" which was sung by Julie Miller at the end of the film, was performed at the memorial service for the Omagh bomb victims by local singer Juliet Turner. See more »

Quotes

Michael Gallagher: [on meeting Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein leader] Where's Lawrence? Stanley wouldn't come on principle, nor Godfrey or Ann Wilson. We should have spoken to the others at the very least, Lawrence. You didn't handle this right, you're gonna upset the whole group.
Laurence Rush: Are you coming or not? Gerry Adams is in a room there. And he's gonna have to face ME.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Respectful, dignified, devastating
30 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

OMAGH

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Sound format: Dolby Digital

Unlike its voracious American counterpart, British TV is generally reticent about dramatizing true-life crimes and atrocities, fearful of causing public offence and generating protest in self-righteous tabloid newspapers. Writer-director Paul Greengrass (THE BOURNE SUPREMACY) has been negotiating this delicate minefield since 1994, producing some of the most compelling works in British TV history (including "Bloody Sunday" and THE MURDER OF STEPHEN LAWRENCE). And while he didn't direct OMAGH - an account of the search for justice following the Real IRA car bomb which exploded in the Irish market town of Omagh in August 1998 - his style is writ large over the entire production. Co-written by Greengrass and Guy Hibbert (SHOT THROUGH THE HEART), the film was directed by Pete Travis, a relative newcomer who distinguished himself in 2003 with his acclaimed TV drama HENRY VIII.

OMAGH focuses on Michael Gallagher (veteran actor Gerard McSorley), a quiet mechanic thrust into the media spotlight following his decision to pursue the shadowy figures who murdered his 21 year old son Aiden (along with so many others) on that dreadful afternoon. From the outset, the movie unspools with documentary precision, using hand-held cameras to enhance the sense of realism: The principal 'characters' are introduced in piecemeal fashion, via quick cuts from one scene to the next, but there's very little specific dialogue in the build-up to the explosion, in which 29 people died and hundreds were injured (primarily because the terrorist's vaguely worded tip-off led police to guide people directly into the bomb's immediate orbit), and the aftermath is reproduced in vivid detail. These difficult scenes are as sordid as they are necessary - the victims' relatives insisted on it - and the widespread grief which followed this appalling incident is depicted through the experiences of the remaining Gallagher family. McSorley's subsequent quest for justice leads him into contact with a wide variety of players, everyone from low-level police informants to some of Ireland's most prominent figures, only to find himself stonewalled by the politics of compromise. To date, no one has been tried for the Omagh bombing.

Respectful, honest and unemotional, this painful reminder of recent history simply records events as they occurred, without affectation or sensationalism. The acting is *peerless*, with McSorley a quiet tower of strength in the central role, matched every step of the way by Michèle Forbes as his distraught wife, and Brenda Fricker as police ombudsman Nuala O'Loan whose investigation into the Omagh inquiry uncovered a catalogue of errors and deceit. Campaigning television at its very best.


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