Belfast Telegraph

Dissidents’ ‘snubbing of Omagh case has relevance’

Four dissident republicans deliberately took no part in a civil action which found them liable for the Omagh bomb atrocity, the Court of Appeal has heard.

Lawyers for victims' relatives who successfully sued the men said their failure to turn up was a factor for the judge to take into account.

Jailed Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt, Co Louth farmer Liam Campbell, Dundalk-based Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly, from Cullaville, Co Monaghan, were challenging a ruling that they are liable for the August 1998 attack, which killed 29 people, including the mother of unborn twins.

In a landmark verdict in June 2009 the now Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan, also held the Real IRA Army Council responsible for directing the bomb. Damages of more than £1.6m were awarded to the 12 relatives who brought the action.

Their senior counsel, Lord Brennan QC, hit back at claims during the appeal that the verdict was flawed and should be overturned. He said that no defendant was present when he opened the original case.

McKevitt, who is serving a 20-year sentence in the Irish Republic for directing terrorism, even shunned a videolink system set-up to allow him to follow proceedings from jail, the court heard. The appeal continues.

Belfast Telegraph

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