Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Seamus Daly’s family to launch campaign for his release

The family of the Culloville man accused of involvement in the Omagh bombing have launched a campaign for his release.  In a statement issued to The Examiner the family of Seamus Daly have vowed to highlight what they describe as “the injustice” of his continued incarceration since his arrest last April.

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.

A hearing at Omagh Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday last, where Mr Daly appeared via video-link, ruled that his trial will go ahead. Prosecutor Michael Chambers said Northern Ireland’s director of public prosecutions made the decision after considering the evidence.  The barrister told the court that the case will focus on mobile phone evidence, a substantial amount of which is from the Republic of Ireland. He said a large proportion of this material would be available within six weeks but that legal issues connected to other more complex material could take three or four months to resolve.

Defence lawyer Peter Corrigan claimed his client had no case to answer as the prosecution had no new evidence since 1999.  Mr Corrigan said his client had been living openly in Jonesborough at all times and questioned why he could not be located to press charges in “the biggest murder trial in British criminal history”.  The lawyer also said the primary witness for the crown, Denis O’Connor, had “perjured himself in court.”

The judge remanded Mr Daly into continuing custody until March 10 for a further update on progress in the case.

In a statement received by The Examiner, Seamus Daly’s family blasted the court’s decision to further remand him and said “the assertions by the prosecution that a further 6 weeks was needed to obtain analytics and perhaps up to a further 4 months to obtain other material from the 26 Counties can only be viewed as a stalling tactic and disingenuous.”

The statement continued:

“Seamus Daly has now been imprisoned for over 10 months on spurious evidence which has been available for over 15 years. Their claims that Seamus could not be located for upwards of 5 years and that they now have credible evidence flies in the face of the reality. The Reality that Seamus had been living openly, enjoying a family life in Jonesborough, Co. Armagh until his arrest in April 2014.

“Those now involved in the continuing prosecution of Seamus Daly are engaging in the age old tactic of internment by remand.

“The regurgitation of old tainted evidence, used in the prosecution’s desperation to close the case, coupled with the intended use of discredited witnesses shows the lengths that they will go to in order to cover up their own incompetence.

“With this in mind the family and friends of Seamus Daly have undertaken to campaign for his release, a campaign to highlight the injustice faced by Seamus Daly will be forthcoming in days.

“We urge all those with an interest in human rights, genuine justice and truth to take a look at Seamus’ case and support us in our pursuit of freedom for Seamus Daly.”

Supporting the campaign to release Mr Daly, Republican Network for Unity and Cogús have denounced “the excessively punitive measures used against the Roe Three Republican prisoner.”

A spokesperson for the Republican organisation said the fact that Mr Daly has been held on remand for 10 months “on spurious charges using flimsy evidence” was an attempt “to put someone, anyone, behind bars for Omagh.”

“The flimsy evidence being used against him has been in the public domain since 1999,” the spokesperson, said, adding that the claim by PSNI that they had been seeking to locate Daly for quite some time “doesn’t stand up to scrutiny considering he has been living openly in Jonesborough, County Armagh, at all times since the evidence of the case was brought into the public domain, over 15 years ago.”

“It’s clear that this is another blatant case of internment by remand, as the British judiciary, the RUC/PSNI and MI5 combine to suppress the freedom of a man who has no case to answer.

“We demand that Seamus is released and immediately returned to his family who are ultimately suffering due to consistent incompetence shown by those who have interned him.”