PRESSURE BUILDS FOR FLANAGAN RESIGNATION 01/24/08 14:49 EST Former Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman (Watchdog) Nuala O'Loan says she stands over her criticisms of the RUC's investigation into the Omagh bomb. Six years ago Sir Ronnie Flanagan had clashed publicly with MS O'Loan after she issued an extremely critical report of the RUC's handling of the case. She said at that time that there were very significant deficiencies and she criticised the leadership of the then Chief Constable. Ms O'Loan was speaking after the former RUC chief apologised for the first time to the families of victims over the failure to bring anyone to justice for the attack. But victims' family members have stated that his apology was 'disingenuous' . Flanagan said he was "desperately sorry" no-one had been convicted for the 1998 Real IRA attack which killed 29 people. But Sir Ronnie, now Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, said he didn't see what positive outcome his resignation could have. "I have thought very carefully. The families' thoughts are very important to me," he said. "But I do not see what positive outcome there would be through my resignation." Victor Barker, whose son was killed in Omagh, had called for his resignation in the light of the court ruling. Sir Ronnie made his apology after meeting Mr Barker on Wednesday evening. The judge in the trial of Sean Hoey, the only man charged in the case, said that ee felt such disquiet about evidence given by two police witnesses over forensics that he had sent transcripts to the police ombudsman. Mr Justice Weir said he found "deliberate and calculated deception" by police officers. This "made it impossible for me to accept any evidence given by either witness," he said. "Since I have no means of knowing whether they may have told lies about other aspects of the case that were not capable of being exposed as such." In her devastating report into the Omagh Police investigation, the Ombudsman at that time, Nuala O'Loan, accused senior management in the Royal Ulster Constabulary of being "defensive and uncooperative". She also said officers who led the police inquiry into the Real IRA bomb had been let down by: -defective leadership -poor judgment -a lack of urgency. And in an unprecedented attack on his leadership, Mrs O`Loan lambasted the Chief Constable for his judgment. She said: "The Police Ombudsman has concluded with great sadness that the judgment and leadership of the Chief Constable and Assistant Chief Constable has been seriously flawed. As a result of that, the chances of detaining and convicting the Omagh bombers has been significantly reduced." "The victims, their families, the people of Omagh and officers of the RUC were let down by defective leadership, poor judgment and a lack of urgency," the report stated. Sir Ronnie Flanagan and senior RUC officers also came under fire for being "defensive and at times uncooperative" with her inquiry into the investigation of the bomb. Mrs O`Loan attacked the role of Special Branch officers, criticising them for failing to pass on information warning of threatened dissident republican terror strikes, including one which was to take place in Omagh on the day the Real IRA bombed the town. The report confirmed police received two prior warnings about plans to attack Omagh - the first coming on August 4 1998, 11 days before the car bomb. The anonymous caller warned of an "unspecified" attack on police in the town on August 15, naming a number of individuals. However, Special Branch was accused of taking only limited action, telling the officer who took the call that those named by the caller were "only smugglers". No information was passed on to the Sub-Divisional Commander - a decision which the Ombudsman`s report believed was in contravention of the RUC Force Order. The Ombudsman noted RUC Chief Constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan told their investigative team he was satisfied the anonymous caller`s information was not relevant to the bomb. However when the Sub Divisional Commander in Omagh was shown the intelligence two years later on the anniversary of the explosion, the report noted he said "he would have set up vehicle checkpoints". More crucial however was the RUC's reaction to a warning given by an undercover agent three days before the bomb. RUC informer 'Kevin Fulton' also alerted his handler in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) that terrorists were "about to move something north (of the Irish border) over the next few days" and identified a dissident republican. Fulton identified the bomber and the vehicle to be used in the attack. However, no record of the meeting between Fulton and his handler could be found in RUC Special Branch. This was despite RUC Criminal Investigation Division (CID) claims that the information was passed on to RUC Special Branch. The Ombudsman said it was satisfied the intelligence was passed to Special Branch and said the officers` claims they did not receive document represented "at the very least, a very serious breakdown in communication".