Case study 1: the Omagh Bomb, the mental health response, and the lessons learned

Ciaran Mulholland*, Michael Duffy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In 1998, 7 weeks after the Good Friday Agreement was endorsed, a car bomb exploded in Omagh in County Tyrone, killing 29 adults and children and two unborn babies. The local health and social care trust mobilised resources to create a comprehensive mental health response to the care needs of the victims and survivors. This service was evidence based, outcomes focused, and research orientated, and contributed to the international evidence base through a series of research studies that helped to inform the further development of the Ehlers and Clark model of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), trauma-focused CBT approaches to treatment, and the developing concept of complex grief. The response led directly to creating a regionalised psychological trauma managed care network for Northern Ireland in an innovative approach of co-production (the Regional Trauma Network) and informed the implementation of a recognition scheme for victims and survivors (the Troubles Permanent Disablement Payment Scheme).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMajor incidents, pandemics and mental health: the psychosocial aspects of health emergencies, incidents, disasters and disease outbreaks
EditorsRichard Williams, Verity Kemp, Keith Porter, Tim Healing, John Drury
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781009019330
ISBN (Print)9781009011211
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2024


  • The Troubles in Northern Ireland Political violence Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder


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