Belfast Telegraph

Omagh duo set for Supreme Court

By Alan Erwin

Jailed Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt and senior republican Liam Campbell will seek to go before the Supreme Court in London to challenge rulings that they were liable for the Omagh bombing, it has been revealed.

Their plan to continue their legal fight was disclosed as senior judges in Belfast confirmed that two other men sued over the atrocity, Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly, will both face civil retrials.

Earlier this year both McKevitt and Campbell lost their appeals against being found responsible for the August 1998 atrocity following civil action taken by relatives of some of the 29 people killed.

Barrister Brian Fee QC said yesterday that both men now intended to apply to contest that decision at the Supreme Court.

Both men are legally aided in a case where fees are estimated at running into several hundred thousand pounds.

No-one has been criminally convicted of the Real IRA bomb attack that devastated the Co Tyrone market town. But McKevitt, a convicted Real IRA leader serving a 20-year jail sentence; Campbell, a farmer from Co Louth; Murphy, a Dundalk-based builder and publican, and Daly, from Culaville, Co Monaghan, were all found liable for the bombing in a civil ruling delivered in June 2009.

Mr Justice Morgan, who is now Northern Ireland's Lord Chief Justice, ordered them to pay £1.6m in compensation.

But in July this year three judges in the Court of Appeal upheld the appeals of Murphy and Daly. At the time they ordered that Murphy should face a retrial.

Daly will now also be retried, despite his barrister, Mary Higgins QC, claiming that it would be unfair and allow the plaintiffs “a second bite at the cherry”.

Background

Twenty-nine people — including a woman pregnant with twins — were killed in the Omagh bomb. Nobody has been convicted in a criminal court for the atrocity carried out by the Real IRA. In 2009 a civil court found McKevitt, Campbell, Murphy and Daly liable for the bombing, ordering them to pay compensation. Daly and Murphy now face a retrial.

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