Two of four Omagh civil action appeals allowed

Thursday 07 July 2011 19.37
Omagh - 29 people died in the attack
Omagh - 29 people died in the attack

Two men have successfully appealed against a Belfast High Court ruling that held them responsible for the Omagh bombing. Two others have had their appeals dismissed.

Belfast High Court allowed appeals by Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly this morning, but appeals lodged by convicted Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt and fellow senior republican Liam Campbell were dismissed by a panel of three judges.

Lord Justice Michael Higgins directed a retrial of the claims against Mr Murphy and will hear arguments on a retrial of Mr Daly.

He questioned evidence surrounding emails from a US undercover agent while overturning the judgment on Murphy.

'The paucity of the email evidence, the lack of consistency in the emails or at least ambiguity, the possibility of initials referring to someone other than Murphy and the fact that they refer on occasions to double hearsay considerably weakened the emails as evidence,' he said.

'The judge's conclusion that it was cogent evidence is not sustainable.'

29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins, died when a Real IRA car bomb ripped through the Co Tyrone market town in August 1998.

No-one has ever successfully been convicted of the crime in a criminal court but two years ago the four men were found liable for the attack in a civil case and ordered to pay £1.6 million in compensation.

The landmark civil case was brought by some of the bereaved families.

Speaking outside court today, Michael Gallagher, whose son Aidan was killed in the bombing, said: 'We are disappointed, we have to accept the ruling of the court, which we do, but we are disappointed.

'It has been a long struggle for the families, almost ten years, it looks like this work will continue for a number of years forward.