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New US Deputy Consul hears about work of victims’ group

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Members and volunteers of the Omagh Self Help and Support Group, as well as members of the local community, which is located in Holmview Avenue in the town, enjoyed a visit from a member of the US Consulate on Monday morning.
Bernadette Roberts is the Deputy Consul and the political and economic officer at the American Consulate in Belfast.
Michael Gallagher, a stalwart of the group, said he was "delighted" to welcome her.
Mr Gallagher said: "We have kept in contact over the years with the US Consul General and we have had several meetings with them and this was just an opportunity for the new deputy consul from the Trump administration to catch up on where we are.
"Our links with America go right back to the early days after the Omagh bomb when we had President Clinton come here and show his respect to the victims. So we are delighted to meet the new administration and its representatives here in Northern Ireland and we have said that we will keep them appraised of how things are going in Omagh.
"I think it's very good because it sends a strong message from people in authority that they haven't forgotten about Omagh and that's important. Memory, dignity and justice is important to victims, so we're very grateful for that.
"We have a good crowd here (at the meeting). We have a wide section of the community, people from all backgrounds and we're really delighted to be here and be part of her visit this morning. It's good news and it's always good to get good news. We're being thought of in high places."
Equally pleased to meet members of the group was Ms Roberts, who is based in the American Consulate in Belfast, the second longest running consulate in the world, which was created by George Washington over 200 years ago.
Speaking to the Tyrone Constitution on Monday, she said: "I'm here today for a couple of different meetings and I just wanted to 'pop' into the centre and meet the folks here and hear more about their work and the things that they're doing and ways in which we can be supportive at the Consulate.
"The Belfast Consulate is the second longest continuously running Consulate we have in the world. So we have had a long presence here and we have been working a lot over the years. There's obviously been a lot of two way trade and we continue to work on peace, prosperity and people to people connections."

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