Court adjourns Omagh relatives' application

The Special Criminal Court today further adjourned an application by relatives of the Omagh bomb victims who are seeking documentation to help their £10m claim against five men in connection with the 1998 atrocity.

The Special Criminal Court today further adjourned an application by relatives of the Omagh bomb victims who are seeking documentation to help their £10m claim against five men in connection with the 1998 atrocity.

Lawyers for the relatives have applied to the court for transcripts and books of evidence relating to a number of recent trials at the court involving men who are named in the Belfast High Court action.

The relatives are taking the action against Michael McKevitt, Liam Campbell, Colm Murphy, Seamus Daly and another man currently awaiting trial.

The Belfast court action is due to start next January and former FBI agent David Rupert - who gave evidence in the trial of Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt in Dublin last year - will be one of the witnesses called by the relatives' legal team.

The Omagh bombing killed 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins, and injured more than 300 in August, 1998. It was the worst single terrorist atrocity in the 30 years of the Troubles.

Michael McKevitt, aged 54, of Beech Park, Blackrock, Co Louth was jailed for 20 years in August 2003 for directing the activities of a terrorist organisation and for membership of an illegal organisation.

Colm Murphy, aged 51, of Jordan's Corner, Ravensdale, Co Louth was jailed for 14 years in January 2002 after he was convicted of conspiracy to cause an explosion between August 13 and 16, 1998.

Liam Campbell, aged 41, of Upper Faughart, Dundalk, Co Louth was sentenced to eight years imprisonment last May for membership of the Real IRA on separate dates in 2000 and 2001.

Seamus Daly, aged 33, of Culloville, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan was jailed for three and half years last May after he pleaded guilty to membership of the Real IRA on November 20, 2000.

Today the court heard that the men named in the application have been refused legal aid from the Minister for Justice and the Attorney General and have now applied to the Civil Legal Aid Board.

Mr Paul Anthony McDermott BL, for the Omagh relatives, asked the court to fix a date for the hearing of the application.

But Mr James McGuill, solicitor and Mr Michael Farrell, solicitor, who appeared for the named men, told the court that the men had been refused legal aid and have now applied to the Civil Legal Aid Board who are "actively considering" their application.

Mr Justice Richard Johnson, presiding, fixed November 8 next as the next date for mention of the application.

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