Northern Ireland Minister Peter Mandelson praised the Panorama programme as “very powerful and very professional.” [52] Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern criticized the situation and said that “playing around names on television” could hinder attempts to secure convictions. Prime Minister David Trimble said he had “very serious doubts” about the issue. [52] Lawrence Rush, whose Elizabeth wife died in the bombing, legally tried to prevent the broadcast of the show: “This is media justice, we cannot allow it.” [53] Oliver Gibson, whose niece Esther was killed in the bombing, said the government had no willingness to prosecute those responsible and praised the program. [53] These talks, negotiated by former US Senator George Mitchell, resulted in the Good Friday Agreement (Belfast Agreement) which was concluded on 10 April 1998. This pioneering agreement provided for the creation of a power-sharing Northern Ireland Assembly, established an institutional agreement for cross-border cooperation between the Irish and Irish governments on a number of issues, and laid the groundwork for further consultations between the British and Irish governments. On 22 May, Ireland and Northern Ireland held a joint referendum on the agreement, approved by 94% of the Republic`s voters and 71% of Northern Ireland voters, where Catholic support for the agreement (96%) was much higher than that of Protestants (52%). Nevertheless, it was an IRA dissident group, the Real Irish Republican Army, that dramatically violated the spirit of the agreement, with a bomb attack in Omagh in August that claimed the lives of 29 people. On 24 January 2008, former Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan apologized to the families of the victims for the lack of convictions in connection with the Omagh bombing. [59] These excuses were rejected by some of the victims` families.

[59] After Hoey, bbc News journalist Kevin Connolly said: “Omagh`s families were worthy of defeat because they were worthy of justice at every stage of their struggle. Their campaign will continue, but the prospect of someone being convicted of the murder of their husbands, siblings, wives and children. [3] The Police Service of Northern Ireland, Sir Hugh Orde, stated that it expected that there would be no further prosecutions. [20] l RUC Consul Ronnie Flanagan announces a task force to investigate the bombing.