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RIRA judge 'was wrong'.

THE judge who ruled the Real IRA is not an illegal group got it "plainly wrong", the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith said yesterday.

Lord Goldsmith made the claim at the Court of Appeal in Belfast as he opened the Government's bid to overturn the controversial decision made last month by Mr Justice Girvan.

Justice Girvan had held the RIRA, which carried out the Omagh bombing, was not a proscribed organisation under the Terrorism Act 2000.

The ruling outraged the Omagh victims' families who said the RIRA was dedicated to death and destruction.

Lord Goldsmith argued: "It is inconceivable that the Terrorism Act 2000 was intended to no longer proscribe an organisation which had previously been proscribed.

"That would be flying in the face of common sense."

But Barry Macdonald QC, his opposing lawyer, argued there was no doubt the RIRA was a terrorist group but the fact it was not officially recognised was the fault of the state, who had failed to proscribe it in the 1990s.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 23, 2004
Words:171
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