| 2.2°C Belfast

McKevitt funeral is attended by one of Omagh bomb case quartet

The funeral of former Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt has taken place in Co Louth.

A funeral Mass was held at St Fursey's Church in Haggardstown following the removal from the family home in Beech Park, Blackrock.

Members of the gardai's Special Detective Unit (SDU) "discreetly monitored" the funeral which passed off without incident.

Two checkpoints had been set up across the town.

According to a death notice McKevitt died "peacefully at home in the presence of his loving family" on Saturday.

Under current Irish Government health guidelines and coronavirus restrictions, only 10 mourners are permitted to attend funerals.

A small crowd gathered at the McKevitt family home, while around 50 mourners walked behind the hearse as it made its way to St Fursey's Church.

Close

michael mckevitt

michael mckevitt

michael mckevitt

Gardai were visible around the route from the former Real IRA leader's home to the church.

While his coffin was draped in the Irish flag, there were no signs of any paramilitary trappings or reminders of his IRA past.

Among those attending the funeral was Seamus Daly, who was one of the four men found liable for the 1998 Omagh bombing.

McKevitt died of cancer.

He headed the Real IRA terror group which was formed in 1997 by dissident members of the Provisionals.

The 71-year-old father-of-six was found by Belfast High Court to be centrally involved in the planning the Omagh bombing, but he never paid any of the £1.6m in damages to victims.

No one was ever found guilty in a criminal court for the atrocity which claimed the lives of 29 people, along with unborn twins.

More than 200 people were injured in the bombing, the worst atrocity of the Troubles.

Originally from Co Louth, McKevitt joined the Provisional IRA at the outbreak of the Troubles and became a senior figure, before quitting in protest at the ceasefires in 1997.

He was married to Bernadette Sands McKevitt, sister of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands.

McKevitt spent 13 years in prison in the Republic after being found guilty by Dublin's Special Criminal Court of directing terrorism and membership of an illegal organisation.

He was released from prison in 2016.

McKevitt is the father of Stephen, Michael, Carol, Roisin and Blathnaid and the late Karen.

He was described as the "devoted" grandfather of Darcy and Erin and "dearest" brother of Patsy, Irene, Tom and Vincent.

A death notice stated that he will be "sadly missed and remembered with love" by his wife, children, grandchildren, wider family circle and friends.

McKevitt always denied being involved in the Omagh bombing, but in 2009 a judge ruled in a landmark civil trial that McKevitt, Daly, Liam Campbell and Colm Murphy were all liable for the bomb.

He ordered them to pay a total of £1.6m damages to 12 relatives who took the case, although they have yet to receive any of the money.

In 2019, McKevitt was adjudicated bankrupt in the High Court following his failure to pay any of the damages to the families of the Omagh victims.

A fifth man, Seamus McKenna, was cleared of liability for the bombing.

In an online death notice, McKevitt's family asked people to leave personal messages as they were not able to attend the funeral due to coronavirus restrictions.

Belfast Telegraph


Privacy