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Anger over Omagh bomber support poster


Councillor Alan Lewis has called for the banner's removal.

Councillor Alan Lewis has called for the banner's removal.

Councillor Alan Lewis has called for the banner's removal.

A South Down councillor has hit out at the appearance of a poster in support of Omagh Bomber Liam Campbell calling for his extradition to be stopped.

Alan Lewis called on Sinn Fein to "show leadership" and help get the poster taken down.

Campbell was found liable in a civil court for the Omagh bomb in August 1998, which claimed the lives of 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins, and injured 220 others.

The Dundalk man is wanted in Lithuania over allegations he was part of an operation to buy guns and bombs for the Real IRA. Dublin's High Court ordered his extradition earlier this month.

A poster in support of Campbell has appeared in Drumaness.

"Stop the extradition of Liam Campbell," it reads along with emblems of the Republican Network for Unity.

Councillor Alan Lewis said he was shocked but not surprised over the banner's appearance.

He said: "On August 15, the world watched in horror as cameras caught the aftermath of the Omagh bomb, the sheer carnage and devastating loss of life.

"The bomb was claimed by dissident republicans the Real IRA a group opposed to the peace process and supposedly opposed to Sinn Fein. Where are Sinn Fein today?

"Those opposing extradition refer to the human rights of Liam Campbell but pay no regard to the rights of the 29 people and two unborn children who were murdered on the streets of Omagh in 1998. The mask of equality slip when republicans circle the wagons to protect one of their own. Those who erected this banner are guilty of shameful opportunistic blind support for terrorism.

”When it suits them republicans sing Europe’s praises, Lithuania is a European country, I’m sure Mr Campbell will be well looked after, better treated than any victim of the IRA. The sheer hypocrisy of these people sickens and disgusts me. Just who do these people think they are? Wasters with their placards and banners, nothing to offer the community but hate and division. Sad pathetic individuals.

"Sinn Fein tell us they are leaders of the republican community, complicit or turning a blind eye? Show some leadership, get this sickening banner removed."

Earlier this month Fermanagh and Omagh District Council policy and resource committee passed a motion opposing his extradition with the support of Sinn Fein and the SDLP, however, this was later overturned at the full council meeting.

Those councillors in favour of the motion argued they had human rights concerns over Campbell's extradition and also asked Taoiseach Michael Martin to intervene.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood apologised for his party’s actions while Sinn Fein appeared split on the matter in the full council vote.

The matter is subject to a complaint to the Local Government Commissioner for Standards. A Derry councillor has signalled his intention to lodge a similar motion in support of Campbell at Derry and Strabane District Council.

Councillor Lewis's comments have been put to Sinn Fein for comment.

Belfast Telegraph