Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Omagh bomb convicted cleared again

Colm Murphy, the only man convicted for the Omagh Bomb, has walked free from court
Colm Murphy, the only man convicted for the Omagh Bomb, has walked free from court

The only man ever convicted over the Omagh bombing has been cleared for a second time of plotting to cause the attack.

Colm Murphy was found guilty of conspiracy to cause the 1998 Real IRA atrocity which killed 29 people and injured more than 300 but later cleared on appeal.

The builder walked free after three judges ruled there was no evidence on which he could be convicted.

Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin, ruled that the evidence relating to interviews by members of An Garda Siochana with Murphy was inadmissible.

Murphy, a 57-year-old native of Co Armagh, with an address at Jordan's Corner, Ravensdale, Co Louth, had pleaded not guilty to conspiring with another person to cause an explosion likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property in the State or elsewhere between August 13 and 16 1998.

He had been on bail since his successful appeal in 2005.

The prosecution claimed he lent two mobile phones to a man who was involved in transporting the car bomb from Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, to the Co Tyrone market town, where it exploded on August 15.

The Real IRA later claimed responsibility for the bomb attack, the worst terrorist atrocity in the history of the Troubles.

Murphy was originally convicted of the charge in 2002 but the Irish Court of Criminal Appeal quashed the conviction after finding notes had been falsified and ordered a retrial in 2005.

He is the second man to be acquitted. Sean Hoey, a South Armagh electrician, walked free from Belfast Crown Court in December 2007 after a judge cleared him of all charges related to the bombing and a host of other Real IRA attacks.

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