Judgement due on Omagh bombing accused

Judgement due on Omagh bombing accused
Colm Murphy.

A judgment in the civil retrial of two republicans accused of responsibility for the Omagh bombing is due today.

Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly are being sued by some of the relatives of the 1998 Real IRA atrocity.

Murphy, a builder and publican from Dundalk, Co Louth, and Daly, a bricklayer from Cullaville, Co Monaghan, were ordered to face new proceedings after they successfully appealed against a landmark ruling which had found them and two other men liable for the attack.

Twenty-nine people, including a woman pregnant with twins, died when the dissident republican car bomb ripped through the Co Tyrone market town on August 15, 1998. More than 200 were injured in the blast.

No one has been successfully criminally convicted of the bombing, but in 2009 Murphy, Daly and two others were held responsible in a civil action taken by some of the bereaved families.

With Real IRA chief Michael McKevitt and Co Louth republican Liam Campbell, the men were ordered to pay £1.6 million in damages.

McKevitt, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence in the Republic of Ireland for directing terrorism, and Campbell, who recently successfully fought extradition proceedings to Lithuania on arms smuggling charges, failed in their bids to overturn the Omagh civil judgment.

They are now seeking to have their case heard in the European Court of Human Rights.

Murphy and Daly’s appeals were upheld but both men were ordered to face another trial. The trial started in January and finished last month. Judge Justice John Gillen will deliver his reserved judgment in Belfast High Court this afternoon.

At the conclusion of the original civil case, the families’ ground-breaking action had already cost them an estimated £2m (€2.33m).

They were supported in their efforts to raise funds for the court case by former US president Bill Clinton, former Northern Ireland secretaries Peter Mandelson and Sir Patrick Mayhew, as well as musician Bob Geldof and boxing champion Barry McGuigan.

Not all the families support the legal bid, with some claiming it is a waste of time that will not deliver a prison sentence.


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