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DALY IN COURT OVER OMAGH BLOODBATH; Republican on 29 murder charges.

Byline: MAURICE FITZMAURICE

A HIGH-PROFILE republican was last night charged with the murders of 29 people in the Omagh bombing.

Seamus Daly, 43, who had been found liable for the 1998 Real IRA outrage in a landmark civil case, is due to appear in court today.

He was arrested on Monday and detectives holding him at Antrim Serious Crime Suite started criminal proceedings when they charged him with the murders.

The accused, from Cullaville, Co Monaghan, is due to appear at Dungannon Magistrates Court where he faces two other raps over the Co Tyrone blast and two in relation to an attempted explosion in Lisburn, Co Antrim, in April 1998.

The 29 victims, including a woman pregnant with twins, died when dissident republicans set off a car bomb in Omagh town centre on a busy afternoon on Saturday, April 15.

It was the single bloodiest terrorist attack in the history of the Troubles and came only months after the signing of the Good Friday peace deal.

No one has been successfully convicted of the bombing in a criminal court.

But five years ago Daly was one of four men found responsible for the attack after being sued by some of the victims' families at Belfast High Court. The defendants were ordered to pay [euro]1.9million to the tragic relatives.

Daly faced a civil retrial after an appeal but the second hearing delivered the same outcome as the first with Mr Justice John Gillen ruling him responsible for the terrorist attack.

The action found Daly and Colm Murphy liable in March last year.

The pair were retried after contesting a 2009 finding of liability.

In the first civil trial, Murphy, Daly and two others - Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt and Liam Campbell - were held responsible for the attack.

Daly and Murphy's retrial started in January this year and finished last month when Mr Justice Gillen reserved judgment.

The Omagh families alleged Murphy, a builder and publican from Dundalk, Co Louth, provided two phones to those who planted the explosives.

They also claimed Daly, a bricklayer, used one of the mobiles during the bomb run between Dundalk and Omagh.

At the time, the judge said: "Given the strength and quality of the evidence, I have determined that both defendants were involved in assisting the preparation, planting and detonation of the bomb in circumstances where those involved in assisting those acts would be joint tortfeasors [individuals who committed a wrongful act injuring another person]."

m. fitzmaurice@ mgn. co. uk

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CIVIL CASE Colm Murphy

IN THE DOCK Seamus Daly will appear at Dungannon Magistrates Court
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 11, 2014
Words:434
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