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Key events prior to the case

2000 Four men suspected of involvement in the bomb are named under parliamentary privilege.

October 2000 The BBC's Panorama documentary tracks down and confronts the four men named in Parliament.

October 2000 Relatives of James Barker, 12, Samantha McFarland, 17, Lorraine Wilson, 15, and 20-month-old Breda Devine decide to launch a civil action against the suspects named by Panorama.

July 2002 Lawyers acting on behalf of the Omagh Victims Trust served writs at the homes of Seamus Daly and Seamus McKenna in Dundalk. Writs are also served on Michael McKevitt, Colm Murphy and Liam Campbell who were being held in Portlaoise Prison at the time.

August 2003 Families are given £800,000 by the government to pursue their civil action.

August 2005 High Court Judge rules that the government grant of £800,000 to help fund the Omagh civil action was unlawful.

No suggestion that any money spent would have to be repaid.

April 2004 Civil action preliminary hearing; Belfast High Court.

May 2005 Sean Hoey, 35, an electrician from Jonesborough, Armagh, was charged with murdering the 29 victims.

September 2006 Hoey's trial opened and he pleaded not guilty to 58 charges.

December 2007 Mr Justice Weir delivers a verdict of not guilty in the case of Hoey.

April 2008 Civil action begins.


From Belfast Telegraph