Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Daly supporters call for his immediate release

Supporters of the man charged with the 1998 Omagh bomb have renewed calls for his immediate release amid claims the prosecution is deliberately delaying the case.

Seamus Daly (44) from Culloville, Castleblayney, has been held in Maghaberry jail since April last year and despite numerous court appearances and repeated claims of having evidence linking him to the attack, the prosecution team has yet to produce any such evidence.

Spokesperson for the Release Seamus Daly Campaign, Cáit Trainor, says the situation has become farcical and has accused the prosecution of playing games.

“The ongoing case against Seamus Daly rumbles on despite the fact that the prosecution relies solely on evidence that is over 15 years old and more importantly, to date has not been made available to the court that has been remanding him on a near-monthly basis.   Seamus Daly has been incarcerated now for over a year, his liberty has been removed, while the prosecution plays a game of deceit and sleight of hand with the judiciary,” she said.

During a hearing last month, the judge stated that Daly may be granted bail if the prosecution failed to produce specific evidence within a six-week timeframe.  The prosecution team has previously claimed that delays in the handing over of evidence held by the Irish government is holding up the case.

“Each time Seamus’s case has been brought up, excuse after excuse is made by the prosecution team as to why they have not been able to produce any of the evidence they claim to have. Much of their reasoning is based on evidence to be secured from the 26-county state and that they are holding up proceedings, they generally proceed to give an undertaking to have said evidence within a certain time frame, the Court accepts this and remands Seamus back into gaol.  Time after time this timeframe is not met,” Ms Trainor stated.

“On April 21st 2015, Judge Bernie Kelly made clear to the prosecution that they had six weeks in order to produce it. She further stated that failure to produce such evidence would strengthen the case to give Seamus bail.  On May 19th – with Seamus’s case again in Omagh Magistrates Court and with pressure on the prosecution to produce any shred evidence to justify his ongoing incarceration – all relevant parties turned up to hear what would emerge.  Everyone that is, but the prosecution barrister.  In an attempt to delay matters further the prosecution barrister sent someone who has not been involved in the case to represent the prosecution, this person stated that they did not know the details of the case and that the actual prosecution barrister was not available on that day.  This was an obvious attempt to delay matters and undermine the instructions of the last hearing in which they were to have new evidence,” she said.

As the six-week timeframe closes, Ms Trainor says it is imperative that Seamus Daly is freed.

“In the absence of any evidence against him, and the laws of natural justice, which is innocent until proven guilty, it would stand to reason that Seamus must now be released unconditionally or at a minimum be granted bail,” she said.

“The ongoing case against Seamus Daly is farcical, and we know from history that the British Government are only too willing to use a scapegoat to cover their incompetence.

We call on all those who believe in justice and with any regard for human rights to use their voice to end the imprisonment of Seamus Daly.”