OMAGH, Northern Ireland (AP) _ A fund established to aid survivors and relatives of victims of the worst terrorist strike in Northern Ireland’s 30-year conflict will make payments to up to 700 beneficiaries, its chairman announced Tuesday.
Twenty-nine people died and 370 were injured in a car bomb planted Aug. 15 in Omagh by a splinter Irish Republican Army group dubbed the Real IRA.
Another 2,000 people _ many of them suffering from mental trauma _ have visited their doctors since the attack, fund administrators say.
Sean O’Dwyer, the fund’s chairman, said payments may be made to 450 to 700 beneficiaries.
The fund is expected to reach about $8.4 million. Some $3.3 million already has been raised through donations and other events. Several other major events have been planned, including a concert in Belfast’s new Waterfront Hall.
O’Dwyer said administrators would try to make the initial payments quickly, citing the ``sheer magnitude of numbers who have suffered, the circumstances of the atrocity and the degree of injuries.″