Friday 24 November 2017

Ruth Dudley Edwards: A miserable week for the families of Omagh victims

With Colm Murphy's acquittal there seems little hope of a criminal prosecution, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards

Ruth Dudley Edwards

Ruth Dudley Edwards

THE bereaved and the mutilated of Omagh have had another terrible week. There was the huge bomb in Newry last Monday, which is thought to bear the hallmark of the Omagh bomb-maker. And there was the acquittal in Dublin of Colm Murphy -- whose mobile phone was used by a bomber on that dreadful day in August 1998 when 29 people and two unborn children were murdered -- on charges of conspiracy to cause an explosion.

Although a civil case brought by some of the families in Northern Ireland resulted last year in damages being awarded against Murphy and three other men, there has been no successful criminal prosecution. So the victims see that the Real IRA are undefeated and no one is serving time for the atrocity in Omagh.

Even after the bitter disappointment of the collapse in December 2007 of the trial of Sean Hoey, Murphy's nephew, charged with 29 murders, the families had maintained some hope.

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