Two Irishmen found liable for the Omagh bombing and ordered to pay damages | GlobalPost


President Bill Clinton wipes an eye after witnessing the damage in Omagh High Street from the terrorist bombing on August 15, 1998.



Two Irish men have been found liable for the Omagh bombing and ordered to pay damages at a civil retrial in Belfast.

The 1998 car bombing by the Real IRA splinter group — the deadliest blast in four decades in Northern Ireland, according to the Associated Press — killed 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins, and wounded more than 200.

The bombing, Reuters wrote, occurred only months after a peace deal was struck ostensibly ending three decades of violence between Irish Catholic nationalists and Protestant unionists who wanted to remain part of the UK.

Relatives of some of the victims brought the civil action for the atrocity, for which no one has ever been convicted, against Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly.

Murphy, a builder and publican, and Daly, a bricklayer, had successfully appealed a finding of liability against them in the original case in Belfast High Court, the Irish Times wrote.

Essentially this, their second trial, has delivered the same outcome in the same court, the Times noted.

Calling the case against the men "overwhelming," Justice John Gillen ruled that Murphy and Daly assisted the preparation, planting and detonation of the bomb in the County Tyrone town.

The BBC cited Gillen, in a 77-page reserved judgment, as recognizing the scale of the bombing:

"The barrier of time has not served to disguise the enormity of this crime, the wickedness of its perpetrators and the grief of those who must bear its consequences. Even 15 years on nothing can dilute the pulsing horror of what happened." 

The men, along with Michael McKevitt and Liam Campbell, were ordered to pay relatives of some of the dead 1.6 million pounds ($2.4 million).

Michael Gallagher, whose son died in the bombing, told Reuters:

"It's a great judgment for the families. We are going to write to the Chief Constable and the Public Prosecution Service and ask them to look at this judgment and the evidence and see if there is any way they can use it to bring them before the criminal courts."