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Court hears Omagh bomb accused has an alibi

The Culloville man accused of involvement in the Omagh bombing has an alibi, his defence barrister told a court last week.

Seamus Daly’s defence barrister, Peter Corrigan, called for full disclosure of mobile phone records by police ahead of the “biggest murder trial in British criminal history”, which is expected to focus on calls made at the time.

The 44 year old, originally from Culloville but with a current address of Kilnasaggart Road in Jonesborough is charged with the 1998 Real IRA car bomb attack in Omagh which killed 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins.  Daly faces counts of causing the explosion 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 in April 1998. He has been in custody since April 2014.

Mr Corrigan told Omagh Magistrates Court on Monday last that Mr Daly had put forward an alibi in 1999,  “and he is saying he was not in Omagh with any mobile phones and he is anxious that all voice analysis would be compared in relation to each phone.

“We are asking for all audio in relation to mobile phones,” said Mr Corrigan.

He reminded the court that the primary witness put forward by the Crown, Denis O’Connor  was arrested in 1999 as a suspect for the Omagh bombing.

“He was cautioned, there was a reasonable suspicion that he was involved by virtue of his arrest,” said the defence barrister.

He claimed Mr O’Connor gave an account to Irish police in 1999 as well as three or four other accounts and requested all original Garda notes in relation to Mr O’Connor form part of the disclosure that is submitted by the Garda.

Mr Corrigan said he was seeking all the original data from mobile phones.

“If this is a case in relation to mobile phones – and it has been well-documented in the media and press that, on the day of Omagh, mobile phones were being monitored (by the security services) – we would ask for the originals of the monitoring of all mobile phones at Omagh to be disclosed so that a proper, fair and balanced consideration of the mobile phone evidence can be given.”

He repeated claims that the evidence was “stale”, saying it has been in existence since 1999 and nothing has changed.

The solicitor reiterated that Daly was living openly in the Jonesborough area, supported by statements from parish priests and Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) figures, and added it was nonsense that he could not be found.

Barrister Michael Chambers, for the PPS, told district judge Benita Boyd that material from the Garda should be with the PPS within the next three weeks and said a “significant” amount of material had already been submitted for preparation for the case.

Mr Chambers added: “We have held to all of the undertakings and assessments I gave the court in my last application.”

He said: “It is vehemently disputed that there was ever an indication of July as a preliminary inquiry date (when the evidence will be produced).”

Mr Corrigan invited the judge to call a former solicitor on the case to give evidence about the preliminary enquiry.

Daly, who appeared via video link from prison was remanded in custody until March 31.