Police representatives were today given the go-ahead to challenge Northern Ireland police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan’s devastating report of the investigation into the Omagh bomb atrocity.
A judge at the High Court in Belfast, Mr Justice Kerr, granted leave for the Police Association to apply for a judicial review.
No date has been fixed for the hearing and the case was adjourned until April 22.
The application was made by lawyers acting on behalf of the Police Association - an umbrella organisation which represents the rank and file of the Police Federation, the Chief Superintendents’ Association and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).
ACPO’s members include the retiring Chief Constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan whose leadership and judgment was bitterly attacked by Mrs O’Loan’s report of the police inquiry into the August 1998 atrocity in which 29 people were killed. One was a heavily pregnant woman expecting twins.
The association is seeking to have the report set aside.
Meanwhile relatives of the victims are pressing ahead with a civil action against the men they claim were responsible for the bombing as well as the Real IRA.
High Court writs seeking compensation are expected to be served on the men within the next couple of months.
A big fundraising event has been planned for Warrington on May 17.
The families have raised £850,000 (€1.37m) but need £1.5m (€2.4m) to cover the costs of their legal action.
They are also due to meet British Home Secretary David Blunkett in London on April 9.