Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Ireland's missing babies casting light on a dark history...

Read more

WEB NEWS

World Cup 2014: Germany-Brazil inspires the Web

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Sarkozy 'threat'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Israeli strikes on Gaza as seen on social media

Read more

  • Germany asks US intelligence station chief to leave country

    Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • Tour de France passes WWI Chemin des Dames battlefield

    Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • Froome crashes out of Tour de France

    Read more

  • South Sudan independence heroes ‘have lost their way’

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

  • Dozens of blindfolded bodies found south of Baghdad

    Read more

  • Both candidates say they won Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Exiled Syrian opposition elects new president

    Read more

Europe

Real IRA chief found liable for Omagh bombing

©

Video by Euna LHEE

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-08

Michael McKevitt, the head of dissident republican group the Real IRA, and three accomplices were convicted of plotting the 1998 Omagh bombing in a landmark Belfast civil court ruling. Twenty-nine people were killed in the attack.

AFP - The head of the hardline Real IRA was found liable Monday with three other men for Northern Ireland's 1998 Omagh bombing in a landmark Belfast civil court ruling on a case brought by victims' families.

Twenty-nine people, including Spanish tourists visiting the town, were killed in the bombing, the worst atrocity in three decades of violence which wracked the British province.

No-one has been convicted in a criminal court over the attack, but victims' relatives launched a civil legal action against five men they accuse of plotting the bombing, including Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt.

The Real IRA is a splinter group from the Irish Republican Army (IRA), once the main Catholic militant organisation opposed to British rule in the province.

Liam Campbell, Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly were also found liable for the August 1998 bombing. A fifth man, Seamus McKenna, was cleared.

Twelve of the victims' relatives, who filed their civil action in April 2008 after a criminal case failed to find anyone guilty, sued the alleged bombers for up to 14 million pounds (22 million dollars, 16 million euros).

Judge Declan Morgan, who awarded the plaintiffs more than 1.6 million pounds, said McKevitt was heavily involved in procuring explosives for the Real IRA.

"He held and has always held a significant leadership role in the Real IRA," said the judge.

Stanley McCombe, whose wife died in the attack, welcomed the ruling.

"It is a result we hoped for but didn't expect. We didn't build our hopes up because we've been let down so many times before. But a 5-1 win is a victory in anyone's eyes," he said.

But he added: "It was never about money. We can stand and say that these guys are responsible for Omagh, that's what we wanted."

Michael Gallagher, whose son Aidan died, said: "Eight years has just come to an end all of a sudden. It is a result better than we could ever have imagined."

"We have sent out an important message to terrorists and their victims around the world -- you now have a way of challenging those who've murdered your loved ones.

"I think it is a tremendous moral victory for the families."

Under British law, the standard of proof needed to find someone responsible in a civil case -- the balance of probabilities -- is lower than for a criminal conviction, which requires proof beyond reasonable doubt.

The Omagh bombing failed to derail the Good Friday peace accord signed in April 1998, which ended most of the violence in Northern Ireland's three-decade long Troubles between Catholics and Protestants which killed at least 3,500 people.

Devolved self-rule in the British province resumed in 2007 after a landmark accord between the Protestant Democratic Unionists (DUP) and the Catholic Sinn Fein, the former political wing of the IRA.

But fears of a return to violence were fueled by the killings of two British soldiers and a policeman in March. The soldiers' murders were claimed by the Real IRA while the policeman's death was claimed by another republican splinter group, Continuity IRA.

Date created : 2009-06-08

Comments

COMMENT(S)