Pair to appeal Omagh bomb ruling

March 25, 2013

The two men found liable of the 1998 Omagh bomb during a civil retrial last week are to appeal the ruling. A lawyer for the two men confirmed on Friday that they would proceed with their right to challenge the ruling.

The pair were found liable at a civil retrial taken by the victims’ families, who have been awarded £1.6 million damages.

Delivering his summary last Wednesday, Mr Justice Gillen described the evidence against Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly as overwhelming and said time had not disguised the “enormity” of the crime, or “the pulsing horror of what happened.”

Twenty nine people, including a woman pregnant with twins were killed by the Real IRA bomb which rocked the County Tyrone town in August 1998.

In the absence of any criminal convictions in the case, the families of the victims began a landmark civil action seeking damages from the four men they deemed responsible for carrying out the atrocity.

Murphy, a publican and building contractor from Dundalk and his former employee, Seamus Daly from Culloville, were ordered to face new proceedings after they successfully appealed against a 2009 ruling which had found them and two other men, Michael McKevitt and Liam Campbell, liable for the attack.

Both men have denied any involvement in the atrocity but, during a 73 page judgment read in court last Tuesday, Mr Justice Gillen said he had determined that both defendants were involved in “assisting the preparation, planting and detonation of the bomb.”  He made reference to compelling circumstantial evidence that two phones linked to Colm Murphy were used in the attack and described Mr Murphy’s explanation to police regarding the coincidence of a similar use of the same phone in a previous bombing in Banbridge as “wholly implausible” and in the “realm of fantasy.”

Taking into account Seamus Daly’s conversation on one of the bomb-run phones less than an hour after the explosion and his conviction for Real IRA membership in November 2000, the judge delivered the same verdict of liability against him.