On August 15, 1998, a bomb is set off by terrorists in the Northern Ireland town of Omagh in defiance of the Good Friday agreement signed by the IRA. Hundreds are injured and dozens killed, among them 21-year-old Aidan Gallagher (Paul Kelly) who works in a car repair shop with his father Michael (Gerard McSorley). In the aftermath of the attack, Michael becomes an unexpected leader for grieving Omagh residents angered at official failure to bring the terrorists to justice.
 

4
The documentary style approach is exhausting at times, but makes this film devastatingly real.

Omaghis the real life dramatisation of the events surrounding a terrorist act in a small Northern Irish town. In August 1998, a separatist Irish group, called the Real IRA detonated a car bomb in OMAGH, killing 31 people. At the time, Ireland was preparing to vote for peace in the Good Friday referendum and the Real IRA, who were vehemently opposed to the peace agreement, resolved to commit a terrible bombing. Their rationale was that it would cause such outrage, the peace process would dissolve and Northern Ireland would return to violent conflict.

Omagh
was made a target because the community was known for its inhabitants\' ability to exist peacefully, Catholics and Protestants. Omagh is directed by Peter Travis (Henry VIII) and co-written by Guy Hibbert and Bloody Sunday\'s Paul Greengrass, who took on the project after getting to know the Omagh Support and Self Help Group. In Bloody Sunday, Greengrass chronicles the events that saw the beginnings of the conflict and in Omagh, he shows us the tragic incident that led to the end of the fighting.

The filmmakers have based the story on real individuals and families within the Omagh Support and Self Help Group, focussing on one man and his struggle to find justice for his the death his 21 year old son. The opening minutes of Omagh are traumatic, because you\'re so aware that a tragedy will soon occur. As the Real IRA prepare their car bomb and put it into place, the Gallagher family go about their morning activities. Michael Gallagher (Gerard McSorley) and his son Aiden (Paul Kelly), work all morning in the family auto repair shop, then Aiden heads into town to buy a pair of jeans and is killed.

The Gallaghers and other Omagh families, band together to unravel the truth, believing that the authorities could have done more to prevent the bombing and to find out why the killers haven\'t been brought to justice. The quietly spoken Michael is an unexpectedly eloquent leader of the group and is drawn into the sometime dangerous politics of the peace process. A brutal act such as the Omagh bombing is not going to be a breeze to watch and the first 25 minutes packs a serious punch. Director, Pete Travis\'s has adopted a documentary approach, with handheld cameras and natural light.

The camera is constantly shifting and is sometimes exhausting to watch, but it still makes the film devastatingly real and I was fossicking around for a box of tissues. Gerard McSorley\'s performance is amazingly sad and riveting as the grieving father fighting for justice, while struggling to hold his family together. This is a carefully researched and sensitive drama about ordinary people who\'ve managed to join forces, regardless of religion and class, to make a stand and it\'s powerful viewing.