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Omagh bomb: Seamus Daly appears in court accused of 29 murders

Published 25/02/2016

Seamus Daly
Seamus Daly
Scene of devastation after the Real IRA bomb attack in Omagh in August 1998
The carnage of the Omagh bomb, which killed 29, including a mother pregnant with twins
The damage caused by the bomb blast in Market Street, Omagh
Seamus Daly

A bricklayer accused of murdering 29 people in the Omagh bombing has appeared in court in the town for the first time.

Seamus Daly, 45, sat in the dock of Omagh Magistrates' Court as a hearing commenced to determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed to Crown Court trial.

Daly is charged with committing the 1998 Real IRA atrocity in the Co Tyrone market town and a number of other terror offences.

He has been on remand in prison since his arrest in April 2014 when he appeared in court in Dungannon.

Subsequent hearings have been conducted by video-link from Maghaberry high security prison near Lisburn, Co Antrim.

Relatives of a number of those killed in Omagh watched from the public gallery of the courtroom as Daly, from Kilnasaggart Road, Jonesborough, Co Armagh, sat yards away in the glass-enclosed dock.

At the outset the accused stood as the names of his alleged victims were read out as each individual charge was put to him.

At the conclusion, he answered "no" when asked if he objected to the holding of the hearing.

District Judge Peter King is assessing evidence to determine if it is of sufficient strength to warrant trial. A number of witnesses are set to give evidence over two days.

Legal restrictions prevent media outlets reporting details of any evidence heard during the preliminary investigation (PI).

Breda Devine, 20 months
Breda Devine, 20 months
Esther Gibson
Spaniard Gonzalo Cavedo poses with a child on his shoulders beside the car carrying the bomb that seconds later killed 29 people, including the photographer
Elizabeth Rush
Olive Hawkes, aged 60
Julie Hughes, aged 21
Ann McCombe, aged 45
Mary Grimes, aged 65
Aiden Gallagher, aged 21
The bomb attack was the worst ever atrocity of Northern Ireland's decades of violence.
Brian McCrory, left, aged 54
Samantha McFarland, aged 17
Philomena Skelton, aged 39
Jolene Marlow, aged 17
The scene of the Omagh Bomb
Brenda Logue, aged 17
Alan Radford, aged 16
Bryan White, aged 27
Oran Doherty
Lorraine Wilson
Fred White
Veda Short
Geraldine Breslin
Deborah-Ann Cartwright
The scene of devastation in Omagh Town centre where upto 25 people have been killed in this afternoons blast. PACEMAKER BELFAST 15/08/98
Gareth Conway, Omagh bomb victim
James Baker, Omagh bomb victim
Several men have faced charges in connection with the attack, but nobody has ever been convicted of the murders
Cathy and Michael Gallagher, the sister and father of Omagh bomb victim, Aiden Gallagher.
PACEMAKER BFST 03-08-99: Man United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has a chat with Claire Gallagher, who lost her sight in the Omagh bomb, before yesterday's friendly against Omagh Town in aid of the Omagh Bomb Fund.
The happy couple — Ryan and Claire Bowse on their wedding day last year, nine years after Claire lost her sight due to injuries suffered in the Omagh bombing
The damage caused by the bomb explosion in Market Street, Omagh, 1998
Donna Marie McGillion, who was seriously injured in the Omagh bombing
The secret email which shows intelligence bosses knew that Omagh was a prime target for a terrorist attack weeks before the car bomb that devastated the town
Claire Radford, whose brother Alan was killed in the Omagh bomb, examines a new stained-glass window in the town's library with her daughter Mia. The window was created in memory of the victims of the blast which killed 29 people and unborn twins.
Michael Gallagher whose son Aiden, 21, was killed in the Omagh bomb attack Pic Paul Faith
Michael Gallagher (right), whose son Aiden, 21, was killed in the Omagh bomb attack with Stanley McCombe who lost his wife Ann Pic Paul Faith

As well as the 29 murder counts, Daly faces charges of causing the August 1998 explosion and possession of a bomb with intent to endanger life or property.

He is further charged with conspiring to cause an explosion and having explosives with intent in connection with a separate dissident republican bomb plot in Lisburn in April that year.

Bereaved relatives Michael Gallagher, Cat Gallagher-Wilkinson and Stanley McComb were among those who were present at the start of the first day of the hearing.

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