Saturday 23 September 2017

Omagh bombing case set to go ahead, says prosecutor

Seamus Daly
Seamus Daly

Michael McHugh

The case against a man accused of murdering 29 people in the Omagh bombing will focus on mobile phone evidence, a prosecutor said.

Seamus Daly is charged with the 1998 Real IRA car bomb attack. The trial will go ahead, barrister Michael Chambers told a court hearing in the Co Tyrone town yesterday.

Northern Ireland's director of public prosecutions Barra McGrory made the decision after considering the evidence.

Mr Chambers said: "The director has taken a decision that Mr Daly should be prosecuted, both for the Omagh bomb and Lisburn bomb and the charges associated with those two incidents."

Daly faces 29 counts of murder after the device exploded in the centre of the town on a busy Saturday and killed shoppers from Ireland, Britain and Spain. A woman pregnant with twins and nine children were among the dead.

The 44-year-old bricklayer from Kilnasaggart Road, Jonesborough, Co Armagh, also faces counts of causing the August 1998 explosion in Omagh and possession of a bomb in the market town with intent to endanger life or property.

He is further charged with conspiring to cause an explosion and having explosives with intent in connection with a separate dissident republican bomb plot in Lisburn, Co Antrim, in April that year.

Relatives of Omagh bomb victims including Michael Gallagher, Stanley McComb and Godfrey Wilson were in court. A lawyer for Daly had claimed there was no case to answer.

Evidence is still being sought from the gardaí about the worst atrocity of the Troubles but most of it has been received, the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) previously told Omagh Magistrates' Court.

Mr Chambers said: "A large part of the evidence that relates to Mr Daly involves mobile phones and a substantial amount of that evidence is from the Republic of Ireland."

Daly was remanded in custody until March 10.

Irish Independent

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