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Council U-turn on extradition a relief, says Omagh relative

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Claire Monteith in front of a picture of her brother Alan Radford

Claire Monteith in front of a picture of her brother Alan Radford

liam campbell

liam campbell

Claire Monteith in front of a picture of her brother Alan Radford

A woman who lost her brother in the Omagh bomb has welcomed a council's decision to reverse a "brutally insensitive" motion opposing the extradition of bomber Liam Campbell.

Victims' campaigner Claire Monteith, who was 15 when her 16-year-old brother Alan Radford was killed, said the move had caused her and others great distress and called for those that supported the proposal to face her.

Campbell (right) was found liable for the 1998 atrocity in a civil court.

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.

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council policy and resource committee passed a motion opposing his extradition with the support of Sinn Fein and the SDLP.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood apologised, saying it was wrong and offered to meet Omagh families to express "profound regret". The motion was reversed at the full council meeting this week with 26 votes against to six in favour and one abstention.

Claire Monteith said she cried through the night after the original vote and could not bear to follow the full council vote, instead waiting to be told of the outcome.

"It was brutally insensitive," she said.

"This was being driven though by the council representing the area affected which meant I and other victims were being forced to support it.

"That's a gross human rights breach."

She added: "I still feel this had no place in the council chamber and was a deeply insensitive move. I have challenged those who claim to champion human rights to face me, but none have.

"That speaks volumes."

The motion which followed, tabled by the Ulster Unionist Party, took a contrary position, calling instead for Campbell's extradition proceedings to be progressed as swiftly as possible, which passed comfortably.

Claire added: "I'm extremely relieved and strengthened by the result, and grateful to those who brought the motion and supported it."

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.

Belfast Telegraph